2020 Case Study: Growing Interest in Raising Chickens for Meat

chickens for meat

In recent years, the desire to raise meat chickens has increased. There are a few good reasons for this, but one of the most prominent reasons to know where one’s food comes from. 

Others want to sell meat chickens for a profit, and then there are those who enjoy the security of knowing how to raise meat. In other words, raising chickens for meat as a way to become self-sufficient. 

So, how many people are interested in chickens for meat, furthermore, what is the perspective of those raising, and consuming chicken meat in the US?

So if you’re interested in selling meat, or purchasing chicken meat, these are the people to seek out. 

Profiles of Those Interested in Chickens for Meat

meat chickens preppers

Self-Sufficiency Preppers

The first stop on this list of those interested in chickens for meat is the self-sufficiency farmer. This is the person who is either interested in raising their own chickens for meat or they’re interested in knowing someone who they can purchase meat from directly.

Global crisis prompts the desire to raise one’s own food, and care for their family with little support from others. 

For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the demand for meat birds sky-rocketed. And this wasn’t just for the meat, it was for chicks from hatcheries, breeders, and neighbors. 

Additionally, the demand for egg layers also saw an increase, and some hatcheries couldn’t keep up with the demand.

Chickens for meat

Awareness Advocates

As manufacturing in the United States boomed, food wasn’t left out of the equation. Demand for perfect meat and veggies went from being raised by the neighbor to factory farms. 

The disconnect between the live animal and the dinner table created an unsettling misunderstanding about the food we eat.

Furthermore, there was less known about where the chickens we consumed were raised. Or how they were raised, and what they were treated with. 

Children became less aware of the path a piece of chicken took to get to the dinner table or their fast food order. 

The solution to this problem, for those who’ve seen it as a problem, is to raise meat chickens themselves or to educate their family on the lifecycle of the chicken. 

Those who are passionate about reconnecting with what’s natural are of making an effort to raise their own chickens. 

chickens for meat

Those Interested in The Profitability of Chicken Meat

Others interested in chicken meat raise it to make a profit. This can mean one of two things: commercial production of poultry or small farm poultry for sale. 

Commercial farms are huge, and often referred to as factory farms. Typically, these are the farms that are run more like a business. Commercial farms often cut corners at the expense of the animal. 

However, interest and curiosity is growing surrounding chicken meat and its origin. Small farmers raising bona fide pastured poultry are seeing some promising profits. 

They’re able to charge more for their chickens, per pound. Because people are who are looking for a way to eat healthier. They want to educate their family on where their food comes from. 

Individuals who value the knowledge and the treatment of the animal may be more willing to pay a larger fee for the birds. They like knowing they were treated well and they’re getting a product free from GMO’s and other chemicals, antibiotics, or synthetics. 

The fact is that the demand for this kind of poultry tends to surpass the supply. This is due to strict policies, legalities, and just plain old spatial restrictions the farmers encounter. 

The truth is, a successful, profitable, pasture-raised poultry operation is quite the balancing act…not to mention a lot of hard work. 

chickens for meat

Health-Conscious Individuals Choosing Chicken Meat

It is no surprise that another large portion of those interested in chickens for meat are those who want to avoid harmful, synthetic, chemicals in the food they eat. 

Today, food is full of GMOs, synthetic ingredients, and otherwise unhealthy additives. Individuals go out of their way to avoid those elements of our food system.  They are happy to pay for chicken meat that was raised naturally. 

There are healthy subscription boxes popping up that promise organic or grass-fed meats. 

There is a large market for naturally-raised chicken meat. Farmers have to be willing to go through the red tape to legally produce and sell it. Having a business plan to meet supply and demand will also go a long way. 

chickens for meat

New Farmers 

For those with farming in their blood and no farm background, chickens are one of the lowest barriers to entry. So anyone who wasn’t born into a farming family can get their feet wet by raising meat chickens

In this article, we’ve mentioned the red tape involved in producing and selling meat. When it comes down to it, the chicken may actually be one of the easier types of meat to produce and sell. 

We mean, that yes, there is red tape, but it’s not as difficult to navigate the laws, licenses, policies, and such. Beef, and pork, on the other hand, are a bit more involved. 

chickens for meat

The Monopoly of the Poultry Industry

According to Statista, “The United States has a robust poultry industry, with an inventory of over 527 million chickens and over 244 million turkeys as of 2018. That same year, chicken production rose to around 46 billion pounds, while turkey production jumped to 7.5 billion pounds of meat. The market leader for poultry products is Tyson, which reported 38 billion U.S. dollars in sales in 2018 alone. Chicken sales is the second-largest source of the company’s overall revenue.

As you can see, the demand for chicken meat isn’t declining, and in a way, it’s ripe for the picking. 

What’s difficult to swallow is the monopoly of the industry. So while there is plenty of demand, getting a piece of the puzzle is the hardest part. 

It can be hard to be able to stand on your own two feet when you’re a small-time farmer hoping to get into the poultry industry, and that’s where marketing comes in handy. 

Standing out, and making a difference, is exactly what people are looking for (especially in the health-conscious and awareness niches).

How Many People Are Interested in Chicken for Meat

Well, that’s a tough nut to crack. But according to the National Chicken Council’s study, “The United States has the largest broiler chicken industry in the world with over 16 percent of production exported to other countries.” 

And without demand, those numbers would cease to exist. In fact, chicken is the second most frequently purchase meat in the US!

And according to Statista, “Chicken breasts were the most popular cut, comprising over 60 percent of product sales. Chicken sales were positive for 2019, in contrast to turkey meat, which saw an almost three percent decrease in sales that year. Both chicken and turkey sausages are expected to increase in dollar sales and sales volume between now and 2023, perhaps as many people find chicken and turkey sausages to be the healthiest type of encased meat products.”

Final Thoughts

What’s interesting about these facts is they’re based on commercial production, for the most part. At least, there’s no mention of where the majority of these meat chickens, and products, are produced.  It all begs the question, if chicken meat is this popular, how can small farmers get a bigger piece of the pie?

Read Next: How to Raise Meat Chickens

2020 Case Study- Growing Interest in Raising Chickens for Meat

 

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