List of poultry feathers

Some terms used for the feathers of poultry are identical to those used for feathers of other birds, while others are specific to poultry. They include:[1][2]

Feathers shown on this image from 1907 are:
  •    8. Fluff
  •    9. Saddle feathers
  •    10. Sickles
  •    11. Primaries
  •    12. Scapulars
  •    19. Tail coverts
Feather Description Image Notes
Beard Feathers projecting below the beak only in bearded breeds
Crest Feathers projecting upwards from the head only in crested breeds
Ear tufts Feathers projecting from the ear
Flight coverts Short feathers covering the base of the primaries and secondaries
Fluff The soft feathers on the underside of the bird
Lesser sickles Long curved feathers of the tail, below the sickles only in cock birds
Main tail feathers The long straight feathers forming the tail, under the tail coverts
Muff Feathers projecting below and around the eyes only in bearded breeds
Neck hackles The long feathers of the neck
Primary flights or primaries The longest and outermost feathers of the wing
Saddle feathers Feathers covering the back or saddle before the tail coverts; in cocks they are long and pointed divided into upper and lower saddles
Scapulars Short feathers on the upper side of the wing near the body
Secondaries The long flight feathers of the inner part of the wing
Sickles The two longest curved feathers of the tail only in cock birds
Tail coverts Short feathers covering the base of the main tail feathers in cocks, and most of the tail in hens
Vulture hocks Stiff feathers projecting downwards behind the leg only in some breeds
Wing bar Short feathers covering the base of the secondaries and of the flight coverts
Wing bow coverts Short feathers covering the upper part of the wing between the scapulars and the wing bar

See also



  1. ^ Victoria Roberts (2009). British Poultry Standards, 6th edition. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 13–14. ISBN 9781444309386.
  2. ^ Pam Percy (2006). The Field Guide to Chickens, 6th edition. St. Paul, MN: Voyageur Press. pp. 53–57. ISBN 9780760324738.