- 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 and consumer requirements at each step of the process.
- About 25,000 family farmers have production (growout) 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 or farms without contracts. Family farms also produce pullets and hatching eggs under contracts.
- In 2021, over 9.2 billion broiler chickens, weighing more than 59.5 billion pounds, liveweight, were produced. More than 41.9 billion pounds of chicken product were 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.
- The United States is the second leading broiler exporter in the world, behind Brazil.
- The top 5 export destinations (value) in 2021 were China, Mexico, Cuba, Canada, and Angola.
- The top 5 export destinations (volume) in 2021 were Mexico, China, Cuba, Angola, and Taiwan.
- Americans consume more chicken (young meat chicken and fowl) than anyone else in the world – more than 97 pounds per capita in 2021 – the number one protein consumed in the United States.
- The top 7 broiler producing states are: North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, and Delaware.
Broiler Chicken Business Key Facts 2021
|Basic economic measurements include:|
|Number of slaughter/evisceration plants||195|
|Number of workers directly employed||409,000|
|Number of workers indirectly employed||1.6 million|
|Number of family farms growing broilers and/or|
producing hatching eggs
|Amount of corn used for broiler and breeder feed||More than 1.4 billion bushels|
|Amount of soybean (meal component) used for Broiler and breeder feed||More than 580 million bushels|
|Amount of mixed feed used||65 million tons|
|Wholesale value of shipments of industry||$90 billion|
|Consumer expenditures for chicken||$120 billion|
Source: USDA and NCC. No estimated or forward-looking figures are provided by NCC.