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Poultry Marketplace

USDA Materials on Chicken at the Retail and Production Levels

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides advice to the consumer and producer on chicken purchasing and marketing. Here are some reports, manuals, and flyers the USDA has created from the Frost years up to the present:

More Poultry Needed

U.S. Department of Agriculture. United States. Bureau of Animal Industry. Animal Husbandry Division, 1918




Standard-bred poultry increases production and improves the quality.


Healthy, vigorous breeders produce strong chicks.


Early hatched pullets produce fall and winter eggs.


Preserve when cheap for use when high in price."

Home Canning of Meat

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics. Agricultural Research Administration, 1945

"Many families can chicken, beef, and other home-produced meats to help spread the supply through the year.

With canned meat on the shelf, you'll quickly have a savory stew, meat pie, or many another good dish . . . timesavers for busy days.

Directions given here tell how to can meat safely and so as to hold food value and flavor."

Poultry Buying Guides for Consumers

Carpenter, Rowena Schmidt and Otte, Alfred W., 1953

"A quarter of a century ago, 1927, saw the small beginning of the present official grading and inspection programs for poultry. From that date on, the U. S. Department of Agriculture has considered the needs and problems of poultry producers and handlers, as well as the interests of consumers, in its work on poultry grading and inspection.

The standards for quality on which poultry grades are based have been improved. So have the grading and inspection programs. Sanitary requirements have been set up; they must be met by poultry processing plants that wish to use either the grading or the inspection programs of the U. S. D. A. In recent years special attention has been given to designs for poultry labels, to make them more helpful as buying guides for consumers."

Poultry in Family Meals: A Guide for Consumers

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. Human Nutrition Research Division, 1966

"Flavorful poultry has long been a bargain in good eating. Now it is even more popular because it is available in convenient sizes—chilled or frozen—the year around.

And for meals in a hurry, there's a variety of prepared convenience foods containing poultry.

The mild flavor of chicken combines well with other ingredients and lends itself to barbecuing. Turkeys, ducks, and geese are delicious whether roasted on a spit over hot coals or cooked to a golden brown in the oven."

How to Buy Poultry

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Marketing Service, 1968


The highest quality is U.S. Grade A.

Grade A birds are

• fully fleshed and meaty

• well finished

• attractive in appearance

Grade B birds may be:

• less attractive in finish and appearance.

• slightly lacking in meatiness

Grade B is seldom printed on poultry labels. U.S. grades apply to five kinds of poultry: chicken, turkey, duck, goose, and guinea. Poultry must be officially inspected for wholesomeness before it can be graded for quality. Often, the inspection mark and the grade shield are displayed together, as shown. You may find the grade shield on any kind of chilled or frozen, ready-to-cook poultry or poultry parts (including chicken, turkey, duck, etc.)."

Broiler Farms' Organization, Management, and Performance

Perry, Janet, Banker, David E., and Green, Robert, 1999

"This study provides a comprehensive view of the organization, management, and financial performance of U.S. broiler farms. Using data from USDA's Agricultural Resource Management Study (ARMS, formerly known as the Farm Costs and Returns Survey), we examine farm size, financial structure, household income, management practices, and spousal participation in decisionmaking. We compare broiler operations with other farming enterprises and their earnings with that of the average U.S. household. Because most of the 7 billion broilers produced in the United States in 1995 were raised under contract, we also explore the use of contracts and the effects of contracting on the broiler sector."

The Economic Organization of U.S. Broiler Production

MacDonald, James M., 2008

"Broiler production in the United States is coordinated almost entirely through systems of production contracts, in which a grower’s compensation is based, in part, on how the grower’s performance compares with that of other growers. The industry is undergoing a gradual structural change as production shifts to larger broiler enterprises that provide larger shares of an operator’s household income. Larger enterprises require substantially larger investments in broiler housing, and new or retrofitted houses are also an important source of productivity growth in the industry. This report, based on a large and representative survey of broiler operations, describes the industry’s organization, housing features, contract design, fees and enterprise cost structures, and farm and household finances."

Assessing the Growth of U.S. Broiler and Poultry Meat Exports

Davis, Christopher, Harvey, David, Zahniser, Steven, Gale, Fred and Liefert, William, 2013

"The United States is the world’s second largest broiler meat exporter (after Brazil), and exports have become a valuable source of income for the U.S. broiler industry. This study examines the growth in broiler meat exports focusing on several major markets."

Technology, Organization, and Financial Performance in U.S. Broiler Production

MacDonald, James M., 2014

"Between 1960 and 1995, U.S. broiler production grew by 5.6 percent per year, but a lack of growth since 2008 has placed new financial pressures on contract growers. This report uses USDA survey data to delineate the key features of the industry’s organization and to analyze its recent financial and productive performance."