The new season of the “Mayflower” is shaping up to be a hot one for poultry producers, as the industry looks to capitalize on the rising popularity of the food.
According to an ABC News poll, the chicken, which is produced by the National Mayflower Farms in Ohio, is the top choice for consumers.
“The chicken is a really high-protein chicken that really can feed you for a very long time, if you keep it at room temperature and don’t over cook it,” said John Dallam, CEO of National Mayfeathers.
The popularity of chicken as a meat substitute has also been growing, with an estimated 300 million pounds of chicken produced annually.
Dallam said it’s important to get the chicken on the table as soon as possible because there is a shortage of supply and the USDA is considering banning chicken production.
One chicken farmer in Ohio said he’s making $500 a week from chicken production, which has been a big source of income for him and his family.
“It’s not a big income for me, but it’s a lot of money to me,” said Joe DeWitt, who works at the farmer’s home in nearby Marion County.
“The way I see it, we have about five chickens in the backyard.
I think we’re good for maybe five, six years of our life.”
The market for chicken is expected to continue to expand, with demand expected to rise as demand for food grows, said Andrew Hoehn, president of the USDA’s National Chicken Council.
“If we don’t have enough chicken to feed the nation, we’re going to have a problem,” Hoehm said.
“And it’s not going to be good for us or for our farmers.”
In the United States, poultry production is estimated to have doubled from 2000 to 2010, and the market for eggs, pork and fish are also on the rise.
Meanwhile, the USDA has launched a national survey aimed at helping producers determine the most efficient methods of chicken production and has set a goal to reach 5 million chicken chickens by 2020.
In the meantime, the producers of the popular chicken, like Hoehrns family, have had to find new ways to make their food taste good.