Broiler Chicken Industry Key Facts 2020


  • 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 2020, over 9.25 billion broiler chickens, weighing almost 59.75 billion pounds, liveweight, were produced. More than 45.0 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 over 16 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 2020 were China, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, and Vietnam. 
  • The top 5 export destinations (volume) in 2020 were Mexico, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Cuba. 
  • Americans consume more chicken (young meat chicken and fowl) than anyone else in the world – more than 98 pounds per capita in 2020 – the number one protein consumed in the United States. 
  • The top 5 broiler producing states are: Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Broiler Chicken Business Key Facts

Basic economic measurements include:
Number of slaughter/evisceration plants195
Number of workers directly employed409,000
Number of workers indirectly employed1.6 million
Number of family farms growing broilers and/or
producing hatching eggs
Amount of corn used for broiler and breeder feedMore 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 used65 million tons
Wholesale value of shipments of industry$80 billion
Consumer expenditures for chicken$110 billion

Source: All data is from USDA. No estimated or forward-looking figures are provided by NCC.