Chickens are the most widespread and abundant domestic livestock in the world. So, how many chickens are there in the world?
They have been bred for their companionship, eggs, and food throughout history. These birds are very popular that almost every adult human has seen a chicken in their lifetime.
The first chickens were domesticated in India and China. Backyard chickens have been domesticated for over 9000 years and have since become the most popular and plentiful farm animals.
They are generally smaller and easy to raise. But how many chickens are in the world?
The last official estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) indicated that the global population of chickens was about 33 billion in 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 affected more than 7 billion people and made backyard chickens more popular.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about chicken production in the world. We will also take you through some of the best chicken breeds you can raise for egg production. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is The Appeal Of Chickens?
Chickens are a favorite for many and one of the most domesticated livestock for various reasons. They are small and easy to raise. They are also a popular source of food, both in terms of egg production and meat production.
Reproduction in chickens is a simple process. It only takes one single mating for a hen to lay fertilized eggs, and if properly cared for, they hatch into chicks. Therefore, the process is very simple and does not need a lot of human involvement.
An increase in chicken consumption has also led to an increase in the number of chicken factories.
Poultry farming is incredibly economical compared to raising other livestock. Besides, raising free-range birds is relatively inexpensive compared to cattle or goats.
Chicken meat is the most popular meat in the USA because of its relatively low price. It is also a popular choice among home cooks because of its ease of preparation as well as mild flavor.
The affordability and convenience of eggs make them a popular source of proteins in many restaurants across the world. Chicken eggs can also be used in nearly everything from baked foods to sandwiches.
Countries With The Most Chickens
Chickens are believed to have originated in Asia, where they are still popular to date.
China has the highest number of chickens in the world, with about 5 billion chickens. Indonesia is the second leading country with about 3 billion chickens.
Other countries with the most chickens in the world are the USA, Pakistan, Brazil, India, Iran, Russia, and Mexico.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are at least 1 billion chickens in the United States of America.
While all states in the USA produce chickens, some states produce more chickens than others. Iowa has the highest number of chickens in the USA, with more than 60 million chickens.
The state is followed by Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
Popular Chicken Breeds
There are several chicken breeds across the world. However, chicken keepers and breeders prefer some breeds over others.
Some chickens are good for egg production, and others are good for meat production. Dual-purpose chickens are good for both meat and egg production.
Here are some of the most popular chicken breeds.
Rhode Island Reds
The Rhode Island Red is one of the most popular chicken breeds in the world. They originated in America and were developed as dual-purpose birds.
This means you can raise them for either meat or egg production, or even both. They are a favorite breed for many backyard chicken keepers because they are tough and lay a lot of eggs.
Under good care and proper nutrition, a Rhode Island Red hen can lay 3 to 5 eggs a week. This translates to about 250 eggs a year.
Their eggs are usually brown and medium to large-sized. If you are looking for a breed that will give you plenty of eggs throughout the year, look no further. As they age, their egg production rate will likely fall.
Contrary to their name, these birds actually have black and brown feathers, which gives them a dark appearance.
They are known for being tough and can easily look after themselves. They are friendly birds that can be a great choice for first-time chicken keepers.
Like the Rhode Island Reds, the Sussex is a dual-purpose chicken. You can raise them for both egg and meat production.
The breed is perfect for homesteads and small farms because of its small nature and ability to produce a lot of eggs and meat.
They can lay up to 250 eggs a year. The color of their eggs will vary from creamy white to brown.
The Sussex comes in eight different colors. However, the common color is a pure white body with black tail feathers and a black neck.
If you are looking for a calm and non-aggressive breed, this is one of the breeds to consider. They will happily free-range in your garden without destroying it.
The Plymouth Rock or Barred Rock chicken is an ideal bird for beginners who are looking for a chicken that will give them plenty of eggs.
They are large birds that will do well both in confinement and when allowed to free-range. Like the Sussex, they are friendly chickens that can easily be tamed.
Because of their friendly personality, they can do well in any backyard flock. However, they should only be raised in a flock comprising friendly and non-aggressive birds.
Their calm and non-aggressive temperament means they can become victims of bullying by aggressive birds in the flock.
Under proper nutrition and good care, a Plymouth Rock hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year. They lay small to medium-sized light brown eggs.
Marans are dual-purpose chickens known for their exceptional meat quality and vibrant dark brown eggs.
They originated in western France and were imported into America in the early 1930s. Marans come in a wide variety of colors, such as Copper, Black, Cuckoo, Black, Golden Cuckoo, Wheaten, and Birchen.
They are active birds that enjoy free ranging. They have a similar appearance to the Plymouth Rocks and are mostly dark grey with white flutters.
These birds are gentle in nature and can do well both in confinement and when allowed to free-range.
If you are looking for a chicken breed that will provide you with a lot of unique eggs throughout the year, this is one of the best breeds to consider.
With good nutrition and care, a Maran hen can lay 180 to 210 eggs a year. Their medium-sized eggs are a vibrant dark brown color.
Easter Eggers are a hybrid breed that is worth adding to any backyard flock. They are savvy and inquisitive chickens that lay a lot of eggs.
They are known for being friendly birds with a temperament that spans widely across the spectrum. In addition, they love human interaction and are good at evading predators.
If you are looking for a chicken breed that will ensure you have plenty of colorful eggs in your basket, this is the breed you should add to your backyard flock.
These birds lay a variety of egg colors and can be anywhere from a bright light blue color to a greenish blue. Under good care and a proper diet, they can lay 3 to 5 eggs a week.
This translates to about 250 eggs a year. Their eggs range from medium to large.
The Brahmas are known for their calm temperament and large size. They are also tough than they look. These hardy chickens can do well both in cold and hot climates.
Because of their large sizes, they are perfect for meat production. They are also good layers that can lay 150 to 170 eggs a year.
If you were asking yourself about the number of chickens in the world, you are now answered.
According to the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations, there are more than 33 billion chickens in the world.
China has the highest number of chickens in the world, with about 5 billion of them.
There are also several chicken breeds that you can add to your flock. Some breeds are good for egg production, while others are good for both egg and meat production.
It is important to note that your birds will need good care and proper nutrition to live a healthy and more productive life.