Is Poultry Farming Profitable In America?

Americans consume 98.8 pounds per capita of meat annually, and as such, you might be wondering is Poultry Farming profitable in America.

Although the stats seem impressive, there is a lot involved in starting a successful poultry farming business.

So let us explore what it takes to run a poultry farm and how much you can earn from this business.

Is Poultry Farming Profitable In  America

What is Poultry Farming?

Poultry Farming is the raising of birds for producing and selling meat, eggs, and even feathers.

Chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys are the most common type of poultry birds, with chicken being the most farmed poultry bird.

As per compassion in world farming poultry, chickens are the most number of birds in the world, and over 50 billion chickens are reared each year for meat and eggs.

Those interested in poultry farming should also know that chickens raised for meat specifically are known as broilers, and those raised specifically for eggs are known as layers.

Poultry Farming Key Statistics

Poultry Farming Key Statistics

In 2023, the production of chickens is projected to be

  • In 2023, the production of chickens is projected to be 103.4 million metric tons, with most production being in U.S. and Brazil.
  • China and the United States are the biggest producers of chicken.
  • The United States once accounted for 17% of the global production of chicken but is down to 13% now.
  • United Stated produces 28 chickens per person yearly.


Types of Chicken Breeds in America

There are different breeds of chickens in the U.S. and the quality and price of the meat and eggs they produce vary accordingly. Let us look at the different type of chicken breeds that you can rear:

American Chicken Breeds

American Chicken Breeds
  • Ameraucana
  • Brahma
  • Delaware
  • American game
  • Buckeye
  • Dominique
  • California gray
  • Rhode island red
  • Holland chicken
  • Plymouth rock
  • New hampshire
  • Jersey giant

Other Popular Poultry Breeds in America

These type of birds include the ones that were developed in the U.S. Although there are eleven different types of them, these are the most popular ones:

  • Wyandotte
  • Rdode island white
  • Delaware
  • New hampshire
  • Rhode island red

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Poultry Farm?

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Poultry Farm

Depending on the size and operation, starting a poultry farm can cost anywhere between $5000 to $500,000. 

The cost of land is the biggest factor in deciding the cost of starting a poultry farm. You can acquire farmland between $2,500 to $3,500 per acre. To calculate how much land you will need, you would have to allocate three square feet per chicken, which means one acre of land would accommodate up to 5,000 chicks.

Your next biggest cost would be of building a proper structure. Be ready to spend $25 to $50 per square foot if you decide to pole barns with electricity and water.

Other costs include vaccinations, labor, feeds, the initial cost of chicks, etc. Also, the cost of labor depends on the number of chicks in your farm.

For example, you will have to spend $750 to feed 500 chickens for three months.

You would have to spend $750 to vaccinate one thousand chickens. And you can purchase day-old chicks for as low as one dollar, depending on your order’s size.

If you already own several acres of land and have a pole barn structure, then starting a poultry business will not cost you much.

To understand the cost better, let us break the cost down on the basis of the farm’s size:

Small Scale Poultry Farm Business

Small-scale poultry farm business includes using domestic labor, feed supplies that are readily available, and households to raise chicken.

This size of poultry farm would cost you anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000, and it also includes the cost of an employee’s salary for a few months.

Medium Scale Poultry Farm Business

To establish this size of a poultry farm that has the ability to produce a variety of birds with a conventional hatchery and production of bulk eggs, you will require approximately $75,000.

In addition to this, you will also require to rent or lease sizeable land for the rearing and production of birds.

Large Scale Poultry Farm Business

A large-scale poultry farm will require the following:

  • commercial incubator
  • raising different chicken breeds, and
  • exporting the finished product internationally, if possible.

You can expect to spend close to $2 million or more for carrying out poultry farming on a large scale.

Is Poultry Farming Profitable In America?

Poultry farming is profitable in America, and how much you earn depends on your efforts and the size of the poultry farm.

In fact, Americans eat the most number of chickens, approximately 15,000 metric tons, and after Brazil it is also the world’s second-largest broiler exporter.

As such, you can assume how profitable and in demand this business might be.

Another reason why poultry farms are profitable is because almost everything produced can be utilized, including meat, eggs, and feathers.

Additionally, poultry farming requires less space than rearing sheep or castles. Poultry birds are also easy to maintain, demand less food, and birds even eat leftovers.

So yes, starting a poultry farm in America can be quite profitable for you, provided that you are willing to be dedicated to it.

How Much Can a Poultry Farm owner Make?

How Much Can a Poultry Farm owner Make

The earnings of a poultry farm owner varies depending on the size and operation of the farm.

However, according to Ziprecruiter, Poultry farm owners make $57,229 a year on average with the lowest annual earnings being $28,213 and highest annual earnings being $114,766.

To further break this down, Beginner poultry farm owners should start this business with 200-300 birds. With 300 egg-laying hens, you could expect to make $2000 in net revenue per month.

How Much Money Can Be Made Selling Chickens?

Once you have successfully set up your poultry farm business and your business starts growing, you can start selling your day-old chicks for $5 – $15 each. Some high-breed chicks can gain you even more.

Once you have a stream of growing birds, you can start selling your pullets.

It takes between four-six months for chicks to mature and start producing eggs. Matured hens would easily fetch you $25-$30.

Selling Chickens to Commodity Markets Vs. Direct To Consumers

Selling Chickens to Commodity Markets Vs. Direct To Consumers

You can sell eggs and chickens produced in your poultry farm either in commodity markets or directly to consumers.

Let us look at the difference in selling between the two.

DTC Selling

The production of chicken and eggs can be really profitable to you if you sell your produce directly to the consumers. You can expect a profit margin of 30% in this case.

Commodity Markets

In this type of market, you basically sell live chicken to companies that will then turn them into meat, wings, etc.

So in this case, you need to register your business with the USDA first, and then you can start selling. In commodity markets, your profits would be:

Gross Profit for Broiler Companies = (market rate per pound chicken x pounds of live chickens) – (costs of chicks + labor caring for chickens + labor + transportation costs).

Gross Profit for Egg Laying Companies = (market rate of eggs x total number of eggs) – (labor caring for chickens + feed + transportation costs).

How To Start Poultry Farming Business?

Which Are The Most Profitable Birds To Raise?

The earnings of your poultry farm are also dependent on the kind of bird you decide to raise. Here are the most profitable birds that you can raise:


Chickens are the most popular birds to raise and are also the most profitable.

Additionally, Americans consume chicken more than any other bird, so starting your poultry farm with chickens could be really profitable for you.


After chickens, the turkey is another bird that offers great income flow. An adult male turkey is equivalent to 8 to 10 hens.

However, raising turkey is much more difficult. Depending on the breed, it takes 12-19 weeks to breed and raise a turkey.

Also, raising turkeys on large scales requires environmentally controlled conditions.


Ducks are usually reared on a limited scale. So Ducks can be easily transported and can be raised in closed confinement. Each duck can give you 300 eggs a year and can be quite profitable to rear.

Wrap Up

Poultry farming, like any business, requires determination and hard work. Depending on the size of your farm, quality of produce, expenses, etc., the earnings from this business could vary.

But since Americans are such large consumers of meat, especially chicken, and also the world’s second-largest exporter of chicken, investing in this business might be quite profitable for you. It’s important to get an idea about various other options if you are impressed by the idea of a poultry farm, then you must also consider the cost to start a farm.

We hope you found this article on “Is poultry farming profitable” helpful.


Which type of poultry farming is the most profitable?

Commercial broiler poultry farming is the most profitable type of poutlry farming business.

Which state in the U.S. produces the most poultry?

Lowa is the land of plenty when in comes to agriculture. According to Statistica, Lowa is not only the largest producer of corn but also the largest chicken-producing state in the United States.

How big is the poultry market in the U.S.?

According to, the poultry market in the U.S. was $76.9 billion in 2022, showing an increase of 6 percent from the previous year.

In total, the sale of broilers increased by 60 percent, eggs by 122 percent, and sales of turkey increased by 21 percent.

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