Broiler Chicken Industry Key Facts 2021

  • Approximately 30 federally-inspected 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 2018, more than 9 billion broiler chickens, weighing 56.5 billion pounds, liveweight, were produced. More than 42.5 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 with about 17 percent of production exported to other countries in 2018.
  • The United States is the second leading broiler exporter in the world, behind Brazil.
  • The top 3 export destinations (value) in 2018 were Mexico, Canada and Cuba.
  • The top 3 export destinations (volume) in 2018 were Mexico, Angola and Taiwan.
  • Americans consume more chicken than anyone else in the world – more than 93.5 pounds per capita in 2018 – 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 180
Number of workers directly employed 355,00
Number of workers indirectly employed 1.2 million
Number of family farms growing broilers and/or producing hatching eggs 25,000
Amount of corn used for broiler and breeder feed More than 1.2 billion bushels
Amount of soybean (meal component) used for
Broiler and breeder feed
More than 500 million bushels
Amount of mixed feed used 60 million tons
Wholesale value of industry shipments $65 billion
Consumer retail expenditures for chicken $95 billion