How Many Chickens are there in the World? 0 27

How many chickens are there in the world?
How many chickens are there in the world?
How many chickens are there in the world?

Have you ever wondered just how many chickens there are in the world, or even within your own country? If you guessed a couple million, you’re not even close! One billion chickens? Still cold. The truth is that the verified chicken population from across the world totals to more than double our human population, specifically 15,853,900,900 chickens (nearly sixteen billion chickens), according to a 2002 estimate. However, that was just the verified chicken population. Numbers estimated in 2009 have put the number of chickens in the world to fifty billion chickens, with more than nine billion of them within the United States of America.

Considering that the estimate was conducted in 2009, it would be very likely that in 2017, the chicken population has risen even further. With many unreported chickens walking around the world, who knows how many there truly are?

You may be wondering, why are there so many chickens in the world? First off, we must consider the simplicity and ease of a female chicken (hen) in reproduction. All a hen must do is mate with a rooster to get an egg fertilized, where the egg will lay and if properly taken care of, will hatch into a baby chicken. So the process is uncomplicated.

Additionally, there has been a continually increasing demand for chicken as a food, encouraging chicken factories. Did you know that it is estimated that more than 1.25 billion chicken wings were eaten during the 2012 Super Bowl? In 1950, it was expected that the average American would consume 20 pounds of chicken per year, but in 2015, it was estimated that over 89 pounds of chicken was consumed. It is not a secret that we as humans are coming to enjoy and eat chicken more, and as expected, the chicken population has continued to rise substantially. 

There will truly never be a way to count the exact amount of chickens in the world, due to their broad diversity and the fact that there may be small farms and even chickens as pets! The number will forever be rising, as chicken farming as remained as one of the most lucrative industries to accommodate for our human needs and chicken as a staple food across the world. If you have wondered why chickens are getting cheaper as a whole, it’s because the amount of chickens has simply risen. The rising chicken population is simply indicative of what the concept of supply and demand can do for an industry.

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“Chickens For Sale!”: Where to Buy Chickens 0 15

Chicken in a back yard
Chickens for sale
“Chickens for sale!”… where to buy chickens

Before you look at the sources from where you can buy the chickens, it’s important to understand that they are a number of species of the chickens. Just like any other farm varieties, the various species of chickens are also bred for very specific purpose as well. If you are extremely new to buying chickens and rearing them, the following tips are for you.

Buying chickens from a breeder and online hatchery

Of course, the first place to look for buying chickens would be a chicken breeder. Always buy from a reputable breeder. You can always get the reference for a local chicken breeder from those that own chickens in your area. Check out several breeders and look at their livestock before making a decisoin. Always take note of their livestock and look at the living conditions of the chickens. If you notice that the chickens are looking unhealthy, never buy from that breeder, even if their livestock is cheaper than the rest of the other breeders in that area.

Remember that there are a number of hatcheries that are also operating online. Even then you would first need to know the breed of chicken that you require. Find a hatchery that is reputable. There are several hatcheries that operate and you can always ask for references from the local chicken owners. Look at their websites carefully before making any purchases.

Check out their stock before you purchase the chicks online. Hatcheries won’t ship the chicks in the winter months as it becomes extremely cold for them. For this reason, the deliveries for the spring batch are booked well in advance. To ensure that you get your delivery, make sure to book for the spring batch well in advance.

When you have booked for the chicks online, you won’t get the deliveries personally. The deliveries will be made to your local post office and you’ll have to go and pick them up. Remember that these chicks will be quite thirsty and hungry, so ensure that you pick them up the very same day.

Before you buy the chickens online or from a reputed chicken breeder, here are a few steps that you should take first:

Prepare the living quarters. You will need to get the coop ready that can house the chickens and also house them once they are grown up. The ideal housing should have enough space for them for roosting and also provide protection to them from the outside predators. It’s important that the housing also has easy enough access for cleaning the area. Line the area with plenty of hay, dried leaves and keep enough feed and water for them to be well fed and looked after.

Buy the right kind of chicken feed for the breed that you have bought. Some feed is fortified with extra calcium to ensure that the chicken’s lay good and healthy eggs, while others ensure that the chickens increase their body mass considerably for chickens are meant for slaughtering.

Where Do Chickens Come From? 0 12

Where do chickens come from?
Where do chickens come from?
Where do chickens come from?

There have been various explanations explaining the origin of chickens. Charles Darwin’s studies concluded that the domestic chicken originated from the red jungle fowl. However, a new study from University of Uppsala suggests that Darwin was wrong. The first domesticated chickens originated in India and East Asia around 7000 BC. The first historical reference to chickens may have occurred in Mesopotamia around 2000 BC.

Mapping of genes that give rise to yellow legs in domesticated chicken was researched. This led to the discovery that the genetic heredity of chickens originates from the gray jungle fowl. Studies show that despite the red jungle fowl contributing the most genes to the domesticated chicken, contribution by another species should have been made: the gray jungle fowl.

The genes that contribute to yellow skin are widely spread among millions of domestic chicken around the world. One researcher concluded that the yellow in the legs is brought about by the type of feed. The more yellow the carotenoids are in the chicken food, the more yellow the legs.

The gene responsible for coding an enzyme that breaks down carotenoids is inactive in skin but active in other organs in chickens with yellow legs. Consequently, the yellow carotenoids stay in the skin in these chickens. This is referred to as a regulatory mutation due to the modification of the gene sequence which is intact.

It is still not understood why humans bred chickens with this trait of yellow legs. The same gene can be important when elaborating the flamingo’s pink color, salmon’s reddish meat and birds of prey’s yellow legs. Carotenoids are responsible for these characteristics.

A literal answer to the question of “Where do chickens come from?” as far as commercial production is concerned is a metal shed. Almost all chicken meat consumed comes from a farm. Some of the conditions are very undesirable, and this is why buying free range birds are best for your family’s diet. 94% of chicken production comes from rearing of birds. Continuous filming is done to record important statistics like water intake, food intake, and the weight of the birds.

Egg production and meat production are two different industries. For a while now, farmers have reared broilers for meat and layers for eggs. Eggs are fairly cheap, and free range chicken breasts are fairly affordable, making chickens an important staple in the diet of millions of people.