Kentucky Poultry Industry Facts
- Poultry and Eggs are the #1 Agricultural Commodity in Kentucky, #1 Food Commodity
- #7 in the nation in terms of broiler production (NASS 2014, with 308 million boilers)
- 1.2 Billion eggs were produced on Kentucky (2015 USDA.gov)
- $1.2 Billion industry in 2014 (UK Ag stats)
- Over 850 large scale poultry farms, 3200 poultry houses in 49 counties and still growing in all sectors of the industry.
- The 4 table egg layer companies have over four million egg layers producing 18 million eggs per week and totaling around 1 billion eggs each year.
- The broiler-breeder industry in Kentucky employees approximately 6,300 people across the state and generate an additional 20,444 jobs in both the supply and ancillary industries.
- Kentucky's turkey industry also plays an integral role in Kentucky's economy. In 2014, the turkey industry was responsible for contributing roughly $393.8 million as a whole to the Kentucky economy and created as many as 2,567 jobs in our state.
Egg producers contribute approximately $214.7 million dollars to Kentucky's economy, while creating 1769 total jobs for Kentuckians. In a circular memorandum to the Industry, Joanne Ivy, president and CEO of the American Egg Board, highlighted growth in egg consumption during 2014. Per capita use grew to 160.7 eggs, the highest in 30 years and the fifth consecutive year of an increase.
Over 50% of poultry farmers are or were tobacco farmers. Many farmers enter the
business to diversify their revenue because of their concerns about tobacco's future.
The average poultry farm is owned and managed by a family farmer and consists
of less than five poultry houses.
Kentucky's poultry industry is the largest buyer of Kentucky grown corn and soybeans.
Depending on the year and the harvest Kentucky's poultry consumes about 25% of
Kentucky grown soybean and 25% of Kentucky grown corn. In other words, 1 in
every 4 rows of corn planted in Kentucky goes to feed poultry in Kentucky.
Each table egg layer consumes about 1 bushel of corn and 1/2 bushel of soybeans.
A hen must eat about four pounds of feed to produce one dozen eggs.
Kentucky's grain farmers realize a 10-25 cent per bushel premium for grain sold to
the poultry industry.
Kentucky's poultry industry has a large investment in facilities statewide. Currently
in Kentucky there are: 5 broiler hatcheries, 2 primary breeder hatcheries, feed mills,
4 processing plants, layer complexes, and a protein conversion plant. Kentucky also
produces poultry for plants located in Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia and Missouri.