Becoming a Poultry Veterinarian

Poultry Veterinarians are small animal practitioners, specialized in poultry medicine and health of flock.  They primarily ensure good health and well-being of poultry, particularly domestic fowl such as chickens, ducks, and turkeys, which are raised and bred as livestock. Their key responsibilities include inspecting poultry animals; observing flock behavior; diagnosing diseases and injuries; performing surgeries; administering treatment including medications and injections; evaluating meat or eggs; taking samples for analysis; operating medical equipment such as x-ray machines; establishing diet; helping to increase egg production so on and so forth.

Some of these professionals work to protect humans against diseases carried by poultry, while others may conduct clinical research on various health problems of flock and medical advancement for treatment and prevention of various poultry diseases, and other aspects of poultry care.

Work Environment

Poultry Veterinarians work in varieties of settings such as veterinary hospitals, animal husbandry and breeding facilities, scientific laboratories, farms, educational institutions, research facilities etc. They work with Farmers, Ranchers, and Poultry Raisers etc, where they are approached not only to treat sick birds but also to help in fowl growth and excel owner’s livestock business. They may work over 40 hours per week, including nights and weekends, and need to travel various paces in different weather conditions.

Educational Requirement

To become a Poultry Veterinarian, the aspiring candidates have to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. The D.V.M. program generally takes 4 years to complete and includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical components. The course work includes anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment etc. However, an entry to veterinary school usually requires a bachelor’s degree.

After D.V.M. degree, the prospective Poultry Veterinarian must have to pass the standardized North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) to become eligible for licensing. The American College of Poultry Veterinarians (ACPV) offers certifications to these professionals.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities for the Poultry Veterinarians may rise 9% from 2014 to 2024. The average annual salary of a Poultry Veterinarian was 88,490 in May 2015.

Penn Foster College
A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology
Penn Foster College - Distance Learning Program
Become a vet tech in as little as 1 year. The Penn Foster Veterinary Technician associate degree program is fully accredited by the AVMA.
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