What Are Some Interesting Facts About the Poultry Industry?


Quick Answer

Some interesting facts about the poultry industry are that the United States is the world's largest producer of poultry meat and that the United States Food and Drug Administration does not allow poultry farmers to feed steroids to turkeys or chickens. In addition, appropriately packaged poultry stays edible in a typical freezer for up to one year.

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Full Answer

Despite being the world's largest producer of poultry meat, the United States is only the second-largest exporter of poultry meat. The United States exports approximately 18 percent of its poultry production. With this large interest in poultry exports, the industry carefully follows the currency fluctuations, laws and trade negotiations that heavily impact the industry. The United States is also one of the largest producers of poultry eggs.

Within the United States, Arkansas is a major poultry producer, raising nearly 30 million turkeys each year. Arkansas employs approximately 42,000 people in the poultry industry, and one out of every four agriculture-related jobs in the state comes in the poultry industry. Missouri is another large poultry producer, and the state is home to poultry company Simmons Foods, Inc. Oklahoma also produces a great deal of poultry, as well as other types of meat for human consumption.

Farmers may not legally feed steroids to poultry, but feeding antibiotics to poultry is legal in order to keep the animals healthy and safe for people to eat. The FDA limits the doses and quantities of antibiotics that farmers may feed to poultry. Farmers do not genetically modify poultry, but today's broiler chicken is a combination of several different breeds of chicken. The average hen lays 240 eggs each year. In the United States, the average person consumes 80 pounds of chicken each year and approximately 240 eggs.

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