The Megapodes are a family of birds in the galliformes order. They live primarily in Australia and are notable in being extremely precocial and laying more eggs than any other bird. They build large mounds to lay their eggs in and the largest of these birds are about the size of a turkey, hence the common name Australian Brush Turkey for Alectura lathami. The eggs also contain a larger yolk on average than chickens

So given their very fast rate of maturation, and their incredible egg laying capabilities, would they be a superior livestock choice compared to the humble chicken? The culture using them in my setting has had several centuries to selectively breed them and is living in the right climate.


I suggest looking into South African ostrich farms. While they haven't replaced chicken, they are a widely used food source there. Ostrich meat was widely available in supermarkets last time I visited, on par with "common" meats like pork, beef, and chicken.

If you say that megapodes are easily kept as livestock, give lots of eggs and meat, there would be hardly any reasons for humans not to use them as a resource.

Of course a few things would need to be considered:

Domestication of a species is often key when keeping livestock. If a species cannot be kept with minimal security and danger to surroundings, they might be too much trouble to keep. This includes how prone they are to flee, attack their keepers (consider children in a household), and how strong a cage would be needed (while still being accessible for daily egg collection).

Another reason we keep the livestock we do, is because feed for them is videly available, or a wide selection of easily obtainable feed will suffice. A minimum amount of effort is required to keep the livestock (over)fed and growing quickly.

  • $\begingroup$ I wouldn’t really be worried about aggression with these birds. They’re not exactly capable of killing a man and they don’t need to do tricks. $\endgroup$ – NixonCranium Feb 17 '20 at 7:43
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    $\begingroup$ @NixonCranium killing a man isn't the concern. If you can't send your ten year old in to collect the eggs, without them coming out maimed and scarred for life due to being scratched and pecked by these birds, this would be problematic. Consider most livestock developed in single households instead of farms, with as minimal fencing as they could get away with. $\endgroup$ – Plutian Feb 17 '20 at 7:59
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, I see what you mean. Good thing megapodes have absolutely no paternal investment post egg laying so they’re not going to be attacking the kid $\endgroup$ – NixonCranium Feb 17 '20 at 15:53

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