While chickens are the most common type of poultry, turkeys, geese and ducks are also farmed. As well as producing meat, the UK sector produces over 11 billion eggs a year, worth more than £800 million.
Jobs include feeding, weighing and monitoring chickens, checking watering systems and collecting eggs. Roles also include monitoring eggs and employees need to be able to safely handle and move poultry.
Technology driving efficiency
New skills are needed as technology is also making poultry farming more productive and efficient.
There's an emphasis on creating stress-free environments for birds, as this can improve their health and their productivity.
Air conditioning is an important part of this, as are air scrubbers, which can remove ammonia emissions from the atmosphere.
Focus on flock health
In larger poultry houses, sensors check the environment while robots clean barns and collect eggs. Sensors can analyse conditions in the poultry sheds by capturing real-time data, including what birds weigh. This data can be used to accurately predict flock health and improve traceability.
The sector’s carbon footprint is also an area of focus and new technologies are being introduced to recycle chicken manure and use it to heat the barns.