- 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 plants||150|
|Number of workers directly employed||355,000|
|Number of workers indirectly employed||1.2 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||$65 billion|
|Consumer expenditures for chicken||$95 billion|
Source: All data is from USDA. No estimated or forward-looking figures are provided by NCC.