Some agricultural professions have specific names assigned to them. For example, a person who raises sheep is a shepherd and a person who raises cattle is a rancher. What would a person who raises turkey (or perhaps poultry in general) be called?

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    A turkey farmer. Oct 14, 2012 at 1:24
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    Peter Shor is right: turkey farmer, chicken farmer, pig farmer, etc.
    – Robusto
    Oct 14, 2012 at 2:39
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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherd or sheepherder, is a person who tends, feeds, or guards flocks of sheep. Not necessarily the owner/breeder
    – mplungjan
    Oct 14, 2012 at 6:50
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    In the UK, it's also fairly common to hear "poultry farmer".
    – calum_b
    Oct 14, 2012 at 12:00
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    A person who raises cattle is a cowherd, in direct analogy to shepherd, goatherd, etc. A rancher is someone who owns a ranch, a very large open-range livestock farm. It could be a cattle ranch, or a sheep ranch (common in Australia / New Zealand, where ranches are called stations) or even a ranch for some more exotic species, such as alpaca or ostrich. Dec 28, 2014 at 3:37

4 Answers 4


The word you are looking for is poulterer (there is an obsolete version, poulter), or perhaps poulteress. All are found in the OED in this sense.

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    "Do you know the Poulterer's, in the next street but one, at the corner?" Scrooge inquired. "I should hope I did," replied the lad. "An intelligent boy!" said Scrooge. "A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they"ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there -- Not the little prize Turkey: the big one?"
    – tchrist
    Oct 14, 2012 at 2:32
  • Looking at the hits in Google Ngrams, it seems that the usage over the last century or so is that a poulterer is somebody who sells poultry (like a butcher is somebody who sells meat), and a poultryman is somebody who raises poultry (like a rancher is somebody who raises cattle). Earlier, there must have been some other term for poultryman. Maybe poulterer did double duty. Oct 14, 2012 at 4:00
  • @PeterShor The OED has a quote about a poulter as someone who raised poultry, not just who sold it, but it is from a long time ago.
    – tchrist
    Oct 14, 2012 at 6:19
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    I have a friend who raises turkeys, so I asked him this question today. First word out of his mouth was poulterer; when I asked about turkey farmer, he said, "Yeah, you could call it that, too."
    – J.R.
    Oct 14, 2012 at 21:55
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    @J.R. Well if that’s not straight from the turkey’s mouth, I dunno what is! :) Thanks for the field work.
    – tchrist
    Oct 14, 2012 at 22:13

In Australia, the general term, depending on the level of involvement, would be Turkey breeder or Turkey producer.


Poult (The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy)
"is a young domestic (not wild) turkey."
"Poultry are domesticated birds that are kept for meat or eggs including birds of the order Galliformes: chicken, turkey, natatorial (swimming) birds: duck and goose."

Poultry (Wikipedia)

If you want to be technically specific, it would be poulter.
Informally, you can say turkey farmer.

See also:
poultry (dictionary.reference.com)
mid-14c., from O.Fr. pouletrie "domestic fowl" (late 13c.), from poulet "young fowl" (see pullet). Poulterer (1630s) is a redundancy, but has largely ousted original poulter (c.1400), from O.Fr. pouletier "poulterer," with agent suffix -er. Poetic poulter's measure (1570s) is of fanciful origin.


Aviculterer or aviculturist for breeder or keeper of birds.


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