Research and analysis

Poultry in the UK: the genetic resources of the national flocks

This report aims to bring together the knowledge of the genetic resources in national flocks, their origin and current status.



Domestic poultry form an important sector of livestock keeping worldwide, the production of meat and eggs being a major contributor to human nutrition.

Although the UK poultry industry has been reviewed by previous reports (DEFRA2006a and DEFRA2006b), these have largely concentrated on the management of poultry keeping and production as a whole, with particular reference to disease risk, biosecurity and food production issues.

The most recent figures from the GB Poultry Register shows a total of 24,677 premises as registered keepers of poultry (DEFRA2009).

However, no attempt has been made to asess and quantify the genetic resources represented in the national flocks.