March 19th Is National Poultry DayMarch 20th, 2012 by Craig Mullins
Happy National Poultry Day! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!
Today is the day to celebrate and enjoy poultry, whether it’s chicken, duck, emu, ostrich, pigeons, or turkey! A favorite in kitchens around the world for their culinary versatility and lower fat content than other meats, birds of the poultry group most certainly deserve their own special day.
While chicken and turkey is likely the most commonly consumed poultry, there are several birds that fall into the category.
Poultry is defined as domesticated birds that are raised for food. Included in this group are ducks, Cornish game hens, geese, ostrich, quail, squab, and of course turkey and chickens.
Even though history shows that poultry was likely the last major group of food animals to be domesticated, it quickly moved to the forefront becoming the most commonly kept animals used for food.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, chicken sales have climbed from 39 pounds per capita in 1970 to 77 pounds per capita in 2000. This surge in popularity is no doubt due in part to chicken’s low fat content.
Fact: Three-and-one-half ounces (one hundred grams) of roasted chicken breast with the skin removed have only 120 calories and 1.5 grams of fat, while the same serving of cooked sirloin steak has 170 calories and 6 grams of fat.
Chicken, as well as turkey, is not only better for you than beef (and even other poultry), it’s often much easier to prepare and cook. Not to mention more affordable.
Cost is also a major factor in the rise of poultry’s popularity. In constant dollars, the wholesale price of a whole chicken dropped 50 percent from 1978 to 2000, while the price of skinless, boneless breast dropped 70 percent.
In contrast to chicken and turkey, duck, goose, squab, and other minor species are expensive and are served mainly on special occasions in the home or in high-end restaurants or restaurants specializing in ethnic cuisine. Peking duck is a mainstay of Chinese cookery, for example.
Fun Facts About Poultry:
- Female members of the poultry group are able to lay eggs even if no male is present. The eggs are simply not fertilized, which means they won’t hatch, but they are still okay for consumption.
- In order to ensure a good hatching, fertilized poultry eggs in an incubator must be turned daily, surrounding temperature and humidity must be monitored and regulated closely, and immediate care must be given to chicks upon hatching.
- Mother hens sitting on a nest will turn each egg about 50 times a day so that the yoke does not stick to the egg shell, which could impede the hatching process and survival of the chick.
- A hen can lay about 300 eggs per year; depending on breed.
- There are more chickens living on earth than there are people.
- A chicken can run at a speed of 9 mph.
- The fear of chickens is known as “Alektorophobia”
- The Agricultural Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, Kansas is home to the National Poultry Museum.
HAPPY NATIONAL POULTRY DAY!