Broiler Chicken Industry Key Facts 2016

  • Approximately thirty-five 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 25,000 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 2015, almost 9 billion broiler chickens, weighing 53 billion pounds, liveweight, were produced. More than 40 billion pounds of chicken product was marketed, measured on a ready-to-cook basis.
  • The United States has the largest broiler chicken industry in the world, and about 19 percent of production was exported to other countries in 2015.
  • The top 3 export destinations (value) in 2015 were Mexico, Canada and Hong Kong.
  • Americans consume more chicken than anyone else in the world – more than 90 pounds per capita in 2015 – the number one protein consumed in the United States.
  • The top 5 broiler producing states are: Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina and Mississippi.
Basic economic measurements include:
Number of slaughter/evisceration plants 186
Number of workers directly employed 280,800
Number of workers indirectly employed 1,339,900
Number of family farms growing broilers and/or producing hatching eggs 30,000
Amount of corn used for broiler and breeder feed 1.2 billion bushels
Amount of soybean (meal component) used for
Broiler and breeder feed
500 million bushels
Amount of mixed feed used 57.2 million tons
Wholesale value of shipments of industry $60 billion
Consumer expenditures for chicken $90 billion


  • What's Really in that Chicken Nugget?
  • fowltips
  • Learn About Modern Chicken Breeding
  • Vertical Integration
  • What is chicken's economic impact in your community? Click for economic data
  • Here's the Skinny on Chicken's Nutritional value!
  • Looking for Recipes? Visit our culinary website for recipes, safe handling and cooking tips.
  • Visit the Chicken Roost Your one-stop shop for all things chicken