BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
September is National Chicken Month!
For over two decades, the National Chicken Council has banded together with major chicken producers in the U.S. to promote chicken sales in September.
As a result, September is known as National Chicken Month! In honor of this month here are some interesting chicken facts.
First domesticated for cockfighting, the chicken eventually made its way to the dinner table. A study done in 2003 estimated that there were over 25 billion chickens in the world.
Not only do chickens outnumber people more than 3 to 1, but there are more chickens than any other kind of bird in the world.
The scientific name for a chicken is Gallus gallus domesticus.
The largest hen egg was a five-yolked egg measuring 31cm (12.2in) around the long axis, 22.8cm (9in) around the short and weighing nearly 340g (12oz). It was laid by a Black Minorca in 1896.
Poultry is the Alabama’s No. 2 agricultural industry, trailing only forestry, and has a $15.1 billion impact on Alabama’s economy, generating more than 65 percent of agricultural commodity sales and employing more than 86,000 workers.
Alabama is the No. 2 state in the U.S. in broiler production, processing 21 million birds per week.
Georgia processes about 23 million birds per week and is the top broiler-producing state.
There are approximately 2,775 poultry producers in 49 Alabama counties with five table egg producers in Alabama with approximately 1.7 million birds.
The poultry industry is vertically integrated, meaning one company owns the chickens, hatchery, processing plant and feed mill.
Poultry farmers contract with a company and provide the poultry housing, bedding, water, heating, cooling and animal care.
Approximately 95 percent of broiler chickens are produced on family farms.
Americans consume more chicken than any other country. Chicken is the most-consumed protein in the U.S. On average, each American consumes 267 eggs annually.
There is no nutritional difference between white and brown eggs. The color of a hen’s egg is determined by the breed of chicken.
Over 1.2 billion bushels of corn and over 500 million bushels of soybean meal are used in U.S. poultry feed annually.
In 2015, the top three importers of U.S. poultry were Mexico, Canada and Hong Kong.
About 8 billion chickens are consumed in the U.S. each year.
Approximately 50 billion eggs are produced in the U.S. each year.
Nearly 2 pounds of feed are required by a broiler chicken to gain one pound.
Four pounds of feed are required by laying hens to produce 12 eggs.
Chicken is full of health benefits. When eaten without the skin, chicken is very lean.
It is carb-free and rich in Vitamins B3 and B6, as well as two important minerals, phosphorus, and selenium.
Various parts of the chicken are considered special treats in some countries. For instance, in China, chicken feet are considered a delicacy.
A major part of enjoying chicken is the spicing. Food experts have debated for years about the contents of KFC. White pepper, paprika, and even Thousand-Island dressing are among the eleven herbs and spices supposedly in the Colonel’s recipe.