Broiler production shifts toward larger birds

A chart showing U.S. broiler production, by weight, years 2006 and 2011.

USDA recently conducted a survey of the U.S. broiler chicken industry. Results indicate that U.S. broiler production is shifting toward larger birds. Forty-two percent of birds produced in 2011 weighed more than 6.25 pounds, compared with 26 percent in 2006. The size shift reflects continuing changes in markets for broilers (toward more processed products and increased exports of poultry and poultry products). Producers tend to market birds in the smallest class (4.25 pounds or less) to fast food and food service sectors, while birds in the 4.26-6.25 pound class go to retail groceries in tray packs or bagged form. Birds in the two largest classes (6.26 pounds or more) may be marketed to retail groceries, but also are deboned and further processed into poultry products for several different sectors. This chart is found in the NASS report, 2011 ARMS - Broiler Industry Highlights.

Download larger size chart (1877 pixels by 1377, 96 dpi)