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National Chicken Month

September is National Chicken Month. Let’s take a look at some fun facts about chickens:

  • There are an estimated 25 billion chickens living today, making them the most abundant bird species on earth.
  • In 2019, more than 42.1 billion pounds of chicken product was marketed, measured on a ready-to-cook basis.
  • About 25,500 family farmers produce 95% of the chicken we eat.
  • Colonel Sanders opened his first restaurant in March of 1930. Today, there are more than 23,000 KFC restaurants in more than 140 countries.
  • The color of a hen’s egg is determined by the breed of chicken and the color of their earlobes. Chickens with red earlobes will lay brown eggs, and chickens with white earlobes will lay white eggs.
  • Rene Arend, McDonald’s first executive chef, created the McNuggets recipe in 1979. They were first introduced to the market in 1981 but there wasn’t a system to supply enough chicken. Supply problems were solved in 1983 and they became available, nationwide.
  • According to a research study from UC Davis, 65% of those studied did not wash their hands before starting meal preparation, and 38% did not wash their hands after touching raw chicken. Also, nearly 50% of participants were observed washing their chicken in the sink, a practice not recommended as it leads to the spread of bacteria over multiple surfaces. Please practice good food safety!

The National Chicken Council says that Americans will consume about 83 pounds of chicken this year. They encourage you this month by saying, “Don’t be average”.