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Poultry vs. Meat: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 3, 2023
Poultry refers specifically to birds raised for their meat, like chickens, while meat broadly includes flesh from all types of animals, including poultry, beef, pork, and lamb.

Key Differences

Poultry is a category of meat that specifically refers to birds such as chickens, turkeys, and ducks. Meat, on the other hand, encompasses a wider range of animal flesh, including that of mammals like cows, pigs, and sheep.
The texture of poultry is generally lighter and leaner compared to other types of meat. Meat from mammals often has a richer flavor and a more varied texture, ranging from tender to tough.
In culinary terms, poultry is often considered more versatile for quick cooking methods, while meat can require longer cooking times, especially for tougher cuts.
Nutritionally, poultry is usually lower in fat and calories than red meat, making it a popular choice for those seeking healthier meat options.
From a cultural perspective, poultry is widely consumed globally and is often the centerpiece of many traditional dishes, whereas other meats may have more regional preferences and associations.

Comparison Chart


Birds like chickens, turkeys
All animals including birds, cows, pigs

Fat Content

Generally lower
Can be higher, varies by animal

Cooking Time

Often quicker
Varies, can be longer


Richer and more varied

Cultural Significance

Globally popular, many traditional dishes
Regional preferences, diverse cultural dishes

Poultry and Meat Definitions


Domesticated birds raised for their meat, eggs, or feathers.
The farm raises poultry, including chickens and ducks.


Animal flesh consumed as food.
The butcher offers a variety of meat, including beef and pork.


Meat derived from birds such as chickens, turkeys, and ducks.
She prefers poultry over red meat for her diet.


A staple food source derived from animals.
Many cultures have traditional dishes centered around meat.


A category of white meat distinct from red meat.
Most dietary guidelines recommend eating poultry as a healthier alternative to red meat.


A broad term encompassing beef, pork, poultry, and more.
The menu offers an extensive selection of meats from different animals.


Avian livestock used in culinary contexts.
The chef specializes in dishes made with various types of poultry.


The edible part of an animal, typically muscle tissue.
He prefers his meat grilled to perfection.


Birds bred for consumption or agricultural purposes.
Poultry farming is a significant industry in many countries.


The main component of non-vegetarian diets.
Her diet includes a lot of meat for protein.


Domesticated fowl, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, or geese, raised for meat or eggs.


The edible flesh of animals, especially that of mammals as opposed to that of fish or poultry.


Domestic fowl (e.g. chickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese) raised for food (either meat or eggs).
A poultry farmer


The edible part, as of a piece of fruit or a nut.


The meat from a domestic fowl.
The poultry counter


Domestic fowls reared for the table, or for their eggs or feathers, such as cocks and hens, capons, turkeys, ducks, and geese.


A domesticated gallinaceous bird though to be descended from the red jungle fowl


Flesh of chickens or turkeys or ducks or geese raised for food


What is poultry?

Poultry refers to birds like chickens and turkeys raised for their meat.

Are there different cooking methods for poultry and meat?

Yes, poultry often requires shorter cooking times, while other meats may need longer, slower cooking.

Is poultry healthier than other meats?

Generally, poultry is leaner and lower in fat, often considered healthier.

Can meat be part of a balanced diet?

Yes, when consumed in moderation, meat can be part of a balanced diet.

Is poultry always white meat?

Mostly, but parts like chicken thighs are considered darker.

Can meat be frozen for long-term storage?

Yes, both poultry and meat can be frozen to extend shelf life.

Are there cultural prohibitions against eating certain meats?

Yes, some cultures and religions have restrictions on eating certain types of meat.

Can meat be eaten raw?

Some meats can be eaten raw, but it's often safer to cook them.

Are there sustainable ways to produce meat?

Sustainable farming practices exist for both poultry and other meats.

Is all poultry skinless?

No, but skinless poultry is lower in fat.

What is the nutritional value of poultry?

Poultry is a good source of lean protein and essential nutrients.

What animals are considered meat?

Meat includes flesh from all animals, including mammals, birds, and fish.

Do vegetarians eat poultry or meat?

No, vegetarians abstain from eating both poultry and meat.

Are there ethical concerns regarding meat consumption?

Yes, concerns include animal welfare and environmental impacts.

What is the environmental impact of meat production?

Meat production, especially beef, can have a significant environmental impact.

Is organic poultry different from regular poultry?

Organic poultry is raised without synthetic pesticides or hormones.

Can people with certain allergies eat poultry or meat?

Most can, but it depends on the specific allergy.

Is grass-fed meat different from grain-fed?

Yes, in terms of flavor and potentially nutritional profile.

How is meat preserved for longer shelf life?

Methods include freezing, curing, and smoking.

What are meat substitutes made from?

They're often made from plant-based proteins like soy or peas.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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