Virginia Poultry Industry Facts and Figures



According to a recent economic study*, the poultry industry in Virginia employs as many as 17,522 people across the Commonwealth and generates an additional 37,485 jobs in companies supplying goods and services to the industry.

Virginia poultry processing companies: VA State outline with logos

VA Family Farmers

Virginia Poultry and Eggs**

Support the livelihood of nearly 1,100 farm families:

> 275 turkey farms

> 800 chicken farms

Provide direct wages of $621,297,300 and a total of $2,749,648,600 in wages when including supplier and ancillary businesses


In 2021, Virginia farmers produced**:

Broilers

image of two chickens

284.5 million broiler chickens

1,798,000,000 pounds produced

(ranks 9th nationally)

Turkeys

image of two chickens

14.5 million turkeys

420,500,000 pounds produced

(ranks 6th nationally)

Eggs

image of boiled egg cut in half

710.7 million eggs

(ranks 26th nationally)




Feeding a Growing Population

Per capita U.S. poultry meat consumption has risen from 34 pounds annually in 1960 to about 110 pounds today.

Poultry workers

Egg consumption is also on the rise, increasing from 239.7 eggs per capita annually in 1999 to 289.5 in 2019.

In the early 20th Century, it took more than 5 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of chicken; today it takes less than 2 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of chicken!

This efficiency is the result of scientific advances in breeding and nutrition.

It's also the result farmers taking good care of their birds in modern poultry houses, which use the latest technology to deliver feed and fresh water, protect birds from predators and avian diseases, and maintain the right temperature. All these things maximize the health of the birds to help them grow well.

Synthetic hormones and steroids are NEVER given to poultry. It is against federal law!
Find more poultry facts on our Myth Busters page!

The United States exports about 20 percent of chicken and about 12 percent of turkey produced in the nation.


*2021 Poultry and Egg Economic Impact Study, prepared for U.S. Poultry & Egg Association by John Dunham and Associates, Inc., Brooklyn, New York

**USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service