Happy National Chicken Month!
Fun Fact: Americans eat more chicken that anyone else in the world. In fact, we consumed more than 93.5 lbs per capita in 2018! Surprised? When you consider that more than 25,000 family farmers have production contracts to raise broiler (meat) chickens, and that in 2018 more than 9 billion broiler chickens (weighing 56.8 billion pounds) were produced...it's not hard to see why chicken is so popular.
In fact, the U.S. has the largest broiler chicken industry in the world, and in 2018 we exported about 17% of our production to other contries (making us the 2nd largest broiler exporter behind Brazil). The top 5 broiler producing states in 2018 were Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina and Mississippi.
What does it take to produce those chickens? More than 1.2 billion bushels of corn, 500 million bushels of soybean (meal component), 60 million tons of mixed feed and 355,000 workers that are directly employed and 1.2 million workers indirectly employed.
Chickens (and eggs) are a great protein option, but they also provide other products and play a large part in the economics of our rural communities and agriculture as a whole!