The commercial development of domestic poultry accelerates at the beginning of the industrial revolution. The poultry farms, which reached high production capacity thanks to the first modern poultry houses where heat, light and humidity could be controlled, widespread in the 1920s in the UK and after the Second World War in the United States.
In the previous years, chicken meat production ranked second following the egg production, and only old hens, which stopped laying eggs, were sold for their meat. However, with the fast development of technology in the mid 20th century, as a specialized industry, chicken meat production overtook the egg industry.
Improvements and inventions on coop building methods, equipment and feeding were increased, and chicken and egg production rapidly developed turning into a giant industry.
Chicken industry has found a stronghold in the markets since the production time in chicken meat industry is very short, intensive production is possible in the unit area, labor is cheaper compared to other agricultural enterprises, and chicken meat is cheaper than red meat.
Although fat and energy content are lower in poultry such as chicken, turkey, duck and goose compared to beef and other types of meat, they are richer in protein. And egg is a very rich source of minerals, vitamins and proteins, tasty and easy to digest.
Chicken meat and products contain all the necessary amino acids in balanced and sufficient amounts. Along with containing low fat and cholesterol and being a rich source of protein, chicken is packed with B2, B6 and B12 vitamins.
The leading countries in broiler production are Brazil and China with over 13 million tons and the European Union with 11 million tons. While global chicken production was 7.6 million tons in 1961, today it is more than 90 million tons.
Chicken and its products are in a key position in terms of today’s biggest problem, malnutrition, because chicken, by nature, is one of the lowest cost products that can be produced fast and easy. Today, chickens are bred for meat and eggs, and both are high yielding production. During the laying period, average number of eggs goes up to 330. It is possible to obtain 1 kilo of live weight with 1.6 kg of feed.
Increasing and improving chicken production seems to be a great opportunity for the future of our planet.
Chicken also creates a large-scale economy through the advanced processing industry products such as sausage, sucuk (fermented sausage), jambon and salami.
In addition to this, chicken meat, which is made into dough with spices, is brought to the moulds to take the form of portions and mixed with special blended flour, then cooked and frozen.
The first stop of live mature chickens after the 6 weeks of growth period is slaughterhouses. In Muslim countries, chickens are slaughtered according to Islamic rules, while in many countries it is performed with machines.
Chickens become a cooled (at 0 C° to 4 °C/ 32.00–39.20°F) and packaged product in just 2,5–3 hours after they are slaughtered in chicken processing facilities. Some of these chickens are sent to cold storage after passing through the quality control. Some of them are packed in bags. And the remaining part is sent to the cutting and further processing for product diversification.
Chicken meat is more prone to spoilage compared to red meat. Therefore, storing temperature and microorganism content at the beginning of the storing have a direct influence on the quality meat.
Chicken can be stored as fresh and frozen. Fresh products are distributed to stores as cooled at 0°C to 4°C (32.00–39.20°F) with the two weeks shelf life without the use of cold chain. The shelf life of frozen products varies between 6 to 24 months depending on the storing temperature and whether they are carcass or chunks of meat. Freezing is carried out in quick freezing rooms at minus -35/-40°C (-95.00/-104.00°F), and frozen products should be kept in rooms with a fixed temperature of minus 18°C. Breeding chicken requires a full-equipped organization. Feed and chick supply is very important. Today, the capacities of chicken farms are improving fast.
Since chicken has a high-yielding potential and is the cheapest affordable protein source, it looks promising in solving our nutritional problems in the future of our planet.