Broiler Chicken Industry Key Facts

  • Approximately forty companies are involved in the business of raising, processing and marketing chickens on a “vertically integrated” basis – that is, the company is able to ensure quality at each step of the process.
  • About 29,500 family farmers have production contracts with the companies. Approximately 95 percent of broiler chickens are produced on these farms, with the remaining 5 percent raised on company-owned farms.
  • In 2011, approximately 9 billion broiler chickens, weighing 50 billion pounds, liveweight, will be produced. Almost 37 billion pounds of chicken product will be marketed, measured on a ready-to-cook basis.
  • The United States has the largest broiler chicken industry in the world, and over 17 percent of production will be exported to other countries in 2011.
  • Americans consume more chicken than anyone else in the world – 83.6 pounds per capita – the number one protein consumed in the United States.
Basic economic measurements include:
Number of slaughter/evisceration plants185
Number of workers directly employed300,000
Number of workers indirectly employed200,000
Number of family farms growing broilers and/or producing hatching eggs30,500
Amount of corn used for broiler and breeder feed1.2 billion bushels
Amount of soybean (meal component) used for
Broiler and breeder feed
500 million bushels
Amount of mixed feed used55 million tons
Wholesale value of shipments of industry$50 billion
Consumer expenditures for chicken$70 billion
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