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Poultry Farmer

Poultry farmers manage farms that raise chickens or other poultry to produce meat, and/or keep hens to produce table eggs (for eating) or fertile eggs (for hatching).


Tasks & duties

Poultry farmers may do some or all of the following:

  • supervise the feeding and care of poultry
  • check birds for any problems (this can be several times a day for very young chicks)
  • check equipment, such as auto-feeders and the ventilation system, is working properly
  • ensure the shed is clean (this includes removing manure)
  • remove sick or dead birds
  • keep financial and farming records
  • market poultry products
  • manage staff



Poultry farmers may specialise in the following areas:

Egg Producer

Egg producers collect, clean, and grade eggs from laying hens (table eggs) or breeder birds (hatching eggs).

Broiler Chicken Grower

Broiler chicken growers receive birds when they are one day old, and send grown birds to be processed when they are five to seven weeks old.


Rearers rear day-old chicks to the point of lay (the point at which they begin to lay eggs) for either table egg or hatching egg producers.


Skills & knowledge

Poultry farmers need to have:

  • knowledge of poultry, including how to care for, handle and feed birds
  • knowledge of biosecurity practices to keep the birds free of disease
  • farm management and administration skills
  • organisational and planning skills
  • practical skills for doing repair and maintenance work around the farm
  • Free-range poultry farmers need to know about rotating green pasture for their stock


Entry requirements

Although there are no specific qualifications for becoming a poultry farmer, a tertiary qualification or courses in agriculture, particularly animal husbandry, can be useful. A driver's licence may also be required by some employers.


Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements, but useful subjects include English, maths, biology, and woodwork and metalwork.


Training on the job

Many poultry farmers study part-time to gain qualifications in areas such as poultry management. Some poultry companies also run training programmes or offer advisory services to poultry farmers.



If you are considering starting your own commercial layer farm there are specific requirements you have to meet.

Useful experience

Any type of farming or farm management experience, or work with livestock is useful. Electrical, welding or mechanical experience can also be handy for fixing farm machinery.


Related courses

Agricultural Science
Animal Husbandry
Farm Management and Agribusiness


For more information, please refer to Career Services.

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