Knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of an animal is essential for understanding and correcting, any problems that may arise. For example, Knowledge of the digestive system assists in understanding the nutritive requirements of chickens. In addition, knowing what’s ‘normal’ can also help you recognize and take action when the digestive system goes awry. Similarly, knowledge of the female reproductive system is important for understanding any problems that may arise with regard to egg production, fertility, and hatchability.


Poultry provide a unique opportunity to study embryology. Chick development occurs outside the hen, in the egg that she lays. The egg protects the developing embryo with all the nutrients it needs.


An understanding of general genetic principles is important when breeding for flock improvement. The University of Utah's Genetic Science Learning Center has an excellent website exploring the principles of genetics.


Normal behavior (eXtension)

Behavioral problems (eXtension):

Behavior management (eXtension)