Niche Poultry Enterprises in New England

A guide for farmers and farm service providers

Created with SARE support
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project | 2014 | 16 pages

Broiler enterprises have started making a comeback in the region in recent years, but they tend to look very different from the standard broiler operations you’d find in Maryland or Georgia.

Scale is the most obvious difference: A typical broiler producer in New England might market somewhere between 500 and 5,000 chickens per year, whereas a middle-of-the-road Southern broiler operation may grow upwards of half a million birds. Large-scale Southern and Midwestern operations raise batches of thousands of broilers in long metal broiler houses, while in the Northeast you’re more likely to find farmers moving groups of 50 to 100 broilers across fields in open-bottomed mobile coops or “chicken tractors.”

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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.