Raising chickens for their meat and eggs isn’t quite easy, despite the fact that they are considered low-maintenance birds. If you want to be successful in the business and learn how to incubate chicken eggs properly, you’ll need more than just keeping a bunch of birds behind a chicken wire fence.
However, raising chickens could prove a profitable business, especially since the worldwide and national consumption of chicken meat in the United States has increased in the past decade. Let’s look into some of the reasons why chicken meat has become so popular lately.
According to the US Census, almost 15% of the total American population lived in poverty in 2014, while the figures expected a slight increase in the upcoming decade. Another agency measuring poverty stated that there were more than 20 million considered poor while another 100 million lived just above poverty.
With high taxes, low incomes, and an expensive and restrictive health care system, it comes as no surprise that people double-check their wallets whenever they go shopping. And, with chicken being one of the most affordable meats, it is the main reason why it is chosen first.
In fact, you can get a whole grilled chicken for under $7-8 in most supermarkets, meaning it will be enough to feed a four-member family for the evening.
It’s easy to cook
We live in the speed century where everything is on fast-forward. Between our jobs, commuting to work every day and looking after the kids, there isn’t too much time left for anything else, and that includes relaxing, spending quality time with friends or family, and cooking.
And, let’s face it, how many still find the energy after a tiring day at work to come back home and start cooking a two-course meal for hours?
Slow cookers, grills, and other special frying or cooking appliances are great and definitely make the entire process easier, but not necessarily faster. Beef meat is demanding and takes precision if you want it perfectly cooked, while pork or lamb take many hours until achieving juicy and tender meat. Chicken, on the other hand, doesn’t take more than 30-40 minutes to cook, no matter the recipe.
Be it fried, smoked, baked or grilled, chicken represents the fastest and cheapest way to make a delicious dinner for you and your friends or family members.
It’s great for diets
With over 60% of the total population being obese or overweight, there is no doubt the United States lacks a culture of healthy eating habits. Poverty, the proximity of fast-food chains, and the higher cost of organic ingredients represent the main reasons why people make poor food choices and end up eating more than they should.
On the other hand, opting for farm-grown chickens raised with high-quality ingredients only costs a dime more but brings many benefits to your daily diet.
White meat, which includes fish, turkey, and chicken, contains fewer fats as opposed to the red meat of pork and beef. It is, therefore, lighter, and easier to digest by the stomach. In addition, it provides a clean source of proteins, meaning you’ll still all the benefits of meat for only a fraction of the calories.
Thus, chicken meat is often used by those who want to look after their bodies, increase their muscle mass or lose a few pounds. There are thousands of healthy and delicious recipes including boiled or grilled chicken breast, so all you have to do is get inspired by them or create your own.
The only condition to fully benefit from this source of proteins is that the meat should be healthy, without being injected with GMOs, growth hormones or other chemicals.
It’s safe for all religions
Another reason why chicken meat has increased in popularity in the past decades has to do with people coming from different cultures. The United States is home of nearly 50 million expats coming from non-Christian countries who are looking to save as much as they can from their traditions not to lose touch with their cultural heritage and identities.
And, when it comes to eating meat, different cultures have different rules and laws. People of Islam prohibit the consumption of pork in all its forms, including the delicious bacon everyone loves.
On the other hand, Hinduism has a very complicated relationship with beef. The oldest Hindu sacred text that was written over 3,500 years ago claimed that beef is meat that should be consumed. Even when the practice of vegetarianism spread through India almost 2,500 years ago, beef was still considered food that could have been eaten. However, more recent texts consider cows sacred animals that shouldn’t be slaughtered and killed for consumption.
There are over three million Indian people residing in the United States currently and, even though not all of them belong to Hinduism, most of them still won’t go near beef.
So, what’s really good with chicken is that it is considered a clean type of meat in all religions, meaning it can be consumed by Christians, Muslims, Hindu followers, agnostics, and all other religions and beliefs. It doesn’t interfere with any customs and cultural practices, hence it is the primary choice when it comes to meat.
Chickens are low-maintenance
Last but not least, farming chickens is a low-budget solution for anyone. They are smaller animals and, therefore, don’t require too much looking after. They don’t need large spaces to eat and roam freely during the day and, most importantly, they’re not very picky about their food.
In a world that is based on profit and high revenues, being able to produce something with a fraction of the cost that you will be selling it for turns into a true gold mine, and this is exactly why chicken farms are thriving.