Did you know that Ohio is the second largest egg-producing state in America? Poultry production is an important part of our department, offering you hands-on access to poultry while providing strong, science-based information to prepare you for a career in food production systems. Through courses, internships, research, and part-time student employment, you will gain practical experience and learn about:
- Poultry life-cycle production and management
- Live bird, carcass, and genetic assessment
- Anatomy and physiology as the basis for reproduction, nutrition, and health management
- Critical factors influencing animal care and welfare
- Production of high-value, high-quality, fresh and processed food
- Relationships between on-farm, packing, and retail segments of poultry production
- Exploring marketing options to enhance value
- Development of a systems approach to problem solving and enhanced decision making
Today’s poultry production systems, regardless of size or scale, are faced with many challenges to meet the demands of an ever growing human population. Today’s consumers expect high-quality, safe, affordable, and nutritious food. At the same time, the consumer demand for quality animal care standards and environmental compliance are constantly evolving and increasing. As the future generation of food animal industry professionals, you will learn how to meet these challenges through a comprehensive, science-based education.
Be a part of something BIG and Do Something Great! No matter where your interests lie, or the skills you have, you can go on to:
- Create a marketing campaign that positively impacts the industry.
- Develop and improve nutritional formulas and make an economical difference in the lives of producers.
- Innovate management tools and technical expertise that allows full genetic potential.
- Create positive developments on environmental issues through management and research.
- Design innovative packaging or develop products that catch the eye of the consumer.
Degree Sheets and 4-Year Plans
Courses in genetics, physiology, nutrition, and meat science provide the basis for learning more about poultry production, management, evaluation & selection, poultry products, and animal health & welfare. Many of the classes will be taught in our animal facilities and teaching laboratories that provide hands-on opportunities for you to gain practical animal experience. Additional courses provide the basis for understanding the underlying biological and physiological mechanisms that provide the foundation for effective poultry production systems.
If you are interested in gaining more specialized experiences in poultry science, you have the opportunity to take summer classes through the Mid-West Poultry Consortium Center of Excellence (COE). The COE Program offers strong, research-based poultry science education through 18 poultry science credits in two 6-week summers sessions. Problem solving and state-of-the-art lab training are integrated with industry field trips to complement lectures. All courses taking through the COE Program transfer to OSU for academic credit towards your Animal Sciences degree. Through the COE Program, you will learn about:
- Poultry Nutrition
- Poultry Physiology
- Poultry Health
- Breeder Flock and Hatchery Management
- Poultry Enterprise Management
- Poultry Products Technology
The Midwest Poultry Consortium also coordinates internships and job opportunities for COE students. All internships will be paid internships and will fit into the academic timetable for each university. All courses are taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with FREE credits (tuition is paid) that will count towards your animal science degree electives.Learn more
Poultry Judging Team
Poultry evaluation and selection processes are fundamental to understanding form and function and incorporating these concepts into identification of future breeding animals. Through poultry judging, students learn to assess conformation, structural integrity, and general functionality as these characteristics relate to value differences among birds within market channels. Poultry judging aids decision-making skills and improves oral communication skills through a structured approach. Participants in poultry judging travel across the U.S. to practice and compete in intercollegiate contests and are exposed to industry leading breeders and judges.
Internships and Research
Major industry employers want employees who have the ability to think critically, communicate well, and work effectively in teams. Conducting a research project as an undergraduate or completing an internship will help you learn those skills while gaining real-world experience. Many research and internship opportunities exist locally in Columbus, Ohio; however, our students have completed internship and research opportunities across the country and around the globe. The benefit of gaining this hands-on experience allows you to further shape your career goals while making you more competitive for employment after graduation. It’s not uncommon for students to find full-time employment at places where they completed internships. Participating in undergraduate research also allows you opportunities to present research at industry meetings and through College and University research forums. Read more on Internships or Read more on Research.
Whether you are interested in becoming a veterinarian, production specialist, animal trainer, or researcher, you will interact with international clients, vendors, colleagues, and technology. Studying abroad will help prepare you. Thirty-five percent of our animal science majors will graduate with at least one study abroad experience, adding to their marketability in a competitive market. Read more about Study Abroad.
Student Organizations & Co-curricular Activities
Getting involved in at least one student organization on campus is arguably the most important thing you can do once you step foot on campus. Joining a club is like joining the perfect family. Everyone involved has the same interests, and in some cases, the same career goals. Most students find their closest circle of friends through student organizations. Read more about departmental organizations you might want to check out.
Meet Our Students
ALISON PARK, Senior. Major: Animal Sciences, Minor: Food Processing
Favorite collegiate club? Why? Sigma Alpha is by far my favorite club. Sigma Alpha is a professional agricultural sorority to promote women pursuing careers in agriculture. By being in the sorority I have had many opportunities to network, excel my leadership skills by planning events, teach inner city school children about agriculture, and create friendships that will last a life time.
Favorite animal science class? Why? My favorite animal science class was Animal Science 310: animal anatomy and physiology. I loved learning everything about every function in the animals body and Dr. Pope made it very interesting.
How has the animal sciences department and your animal sciences classes helped you during your time here at Ohio State? My animal science classes have helped me a lot during my internships. I was able to perform more projects because I had a good background of information that I had learned in my animal science classes. They have also helped me when I have been approached and asked questions about animal production.
What is the coolest thing about being a student at Ohio State? Being part of the tradition, going to football games, and learning from some of the best professors!
EMILY SEVERT, Senior. Major: Animal Sciences, Minor: Life Science
Favorite collegiate club? Why? Alpha Zeta Partners – I have absolutely benefited the most from this organization. It is an agricultural honorary fraternity within CFAES and to be honest, I actually threw away my initial membership request letter. I then decided to apply on a whim, and the rest is history. I have had so many opportunities to meet new people within our college and across campus. I’ve studied in Brazil for six weeks and made some amazing friends there as well. I’ve fine tuned my leadership skills, yet still learn more everyday. Alpha Zeta Partners has allowed me to define myself as a person, student, friend, and leader within CFAES.
Why do you love the Animal Sciences program at Ohio State? Hands-down: the faculty and staff. One huge concern of mine coming to OSU was being a number. However, this is absolutely not the case in the Animal Science department. I can remember the first day of Fall quarter my freshman year, Animal Science 200, in a class of 100 students, my professor took the time to learn each of us by name! So many of the professors, advisers, and staff will bend over backwards to make sure you are taken care of. The level of sacrifice the faculty and staff of the Animal Science department is incredible.
Favorite animal science class? Why? Animal Science 250 – I loved learning about the products each animal can provide for us and I realized just how much we depend on them. I became an informed consumer, which is something very hard to come by these days.
What is the coolest thing about being a student at Ohio State? The atmosphere here is unlike any other, and you can’t experience it unless you’re a Buckeye. When you become one, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
BRITTANI JONES, Senior. Major: Animal Sciences, Minor: Life Sciences
Why do you love the Animal Sciences program at Ohio State? The faculty members are what make my love for the program go above what I had expected was possible. They are ALL so willing to help and want to get to know you. It is like the faculty have become a part of my family.
How do you balance your class work and real life? With having 2 jobs, heavy class loads and tons of extracurricular activities it can be tough; however, I always make sure I don’t let it consume me. When I get home from a busy day, I sit down until my work is done that needs to be and go do the things I love (watch a movie, work out, hang with friends etc.).
How has the animal sciences department and your animal sciences classes helped you during your time here at Ohio State? Due to both, my knowledge of the agriculture industry has grown incredibly. Also, many of the faculty members have helped me to find an internship, assisted with my veterinary school applications, and did anything else in their power to make me feel at home and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.
What would a prospective student that has had no previous ties to Ohio State be surprised to know? You aren’t just a number!! Class sizes aren’t as big as what people say and it is easy to get to know your professors! :)
The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences maintains facilities in Columbus and Wooster. These facilities and animals are used for endeavors involving teaching, research, and outreach. Read more about the department’s facilities.