Before a real understanding of the composition of poultry meat can be obtained, the classification of poultry should be discussed. In general, the market forms of poultry are based on age and weight. For ease of reference, only chickens and turkeys will be classified. Younger-type chickens include the Cornish hen (<4 weeks of age; >25% Cornish breed), broiler or fryer (6 8 weeks old; commercial chicken), roaster (8 10 weeks old; holiday bird), and the spent hen (>52 weeks of age; nonproducing layer). Turkeys are similar in the classification system, including the fryer turkey (9 16 weeks old; whole bird), roaster (16 24 weeks old; most common form), and the hen or tom turkey ( > 52 weeks of age; unproductive breeder birds).

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