Overview of a Bachelor's Degree Program in Poultry Science
Bachelor's degree programs in poultry science are offered at several schools in the United States. These programs include agriculture and animal science research, in addition to coursework in avian biology, poultry production and processing. Prospective students should find various vital details below about this bachelor's degree, admissions requirements and various career possibilities to consider upon completion.
Admissions Requirements for a Poultry Science Degree
Incoming freshmen applying to a bachelor's program in poultry science will need to provide various materials to the admissions office such as their high school transcripts and diploma or a passing GED score. Many of these universities also require letters of recommendation as well as one or more essays. Students wanting to earn a poultry science degree may be required to earn certain minimums on core classes in high school. Prospective applicants will also need to submit their SAT or ACT college exam results and should contact the school's admissions office to determine any minimum scores on these exams.
Poultry Science Bachelor's Degree Program Coursework
A poultry science bachelor's degree program will include a number of courses in animal science, biology and poultry production. Coursework might also include classes in poultry feed and nutrition, along with basic genetics. The following courses are some of the more common in this program:
No program in poultry science would be complete without a class in the anatomy of avians. Students will be introduced to the internal and external anatomy as well as the development of the embryo and egg. Students will also be exposed to the physiology of all the major body systems which include the respiratory, gastrointestinal, reproductive and endocrine. These classes will often be highlighted by lab work that includes dissections and microscopic analysis.
Avian production will be a staple among the common courses in poultry science. These classes will emphasize broiler production as well as turkeys in the commercial industry. Components will include managing hatcheries, prep and maintenance of the facilities, in addition to the environment, health and nutrition of the birds.
Genetics courses related to avians will be vital in the breeding principles of poultry. This class teaches the inheritance principles of the economics necessary in qualitative and quantitative traits, as well as the application of mating systems, molecular genetics, managing the breeders and incubation use in hatching eggs. Genetics will also emphasize to students its development to improve farm animals in general.
Nutritional information will be covered in courses on poultry/turkey nutrition and the avian digestive system. Students will learn the ins and outs of of the commercial processing system and the proper nutrition needs of poultry. The use of computer aided software to design, plan and manage a poultry plant may be included.
Students will definitely be expected to take courses on avian diseases, sanitation and prevention. They will cover topics such as environmental control, parasitic and contagious disease, as well as those diseases that might be common in commercial poultry plants. Students will also learn some of the various ways to deal with possible poultry diseases while studying how to ensure sanitary conditions and proper immunizations.
How to Choose a Bachelor's Degree Program in Poultry Science
Of those schools offering a poultry science bachelor's program, students might consider the labs and advanced degree offerings in the poultry or animal science fields. Some prospective students may want to expand into other forms of agricultural studies or add to their knowledge in a particular field of animal science. A university's location near major commercial poultry companies might also help a student in making his or her decision, as well as any internships that might be available.
Career Options with a Poultry Science Degree
Students who have a degree in poultry science often find careers in the general field of agricultural or food science. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job opportunities for animal scientists, which fall under agricultural and food scientists, will grow by 7% from 2014-2024, and shows that the median salary for animal scientists in 2016 was $60,330. Other useful career information for those interested in poultry science can be found at the links below.