Farmers are paid under a contract with a chicken company on the basis of their healthiest chicken breeding, which would be clearly defined in the farmers` contract. This performance-based or incentive structure is sometimes referred to as the “tournament system.” Farmers are paid based on the quality and quantity of their herd and the efficient breeding of chickens. This is not, and never will, use additional hormones and steroids to get there. In fact, federal regulations prohibit the use of additional hormones and steroids in all poultry. For more information, visit our Farm to Table section. The current system benefits both businesses and farmers who enjoy working with a company that can absorb most of the risk (chicken farmers have a “guaranteed market,” which means they avoid the risk of not being able to sell their products or sell them at a loss). Chicken farms want their farmers to strive and prosper, and they are doing everything in their power to help the farmer raise the healthiest birds. The ultimate success of the chicken business and the industry as a whole depends on it. Chicken farming is like any other store; People often need to borrow some money to start, improve or expand their business.

Each of our contract chickens must decide for themselves the size and size of their business and the amount of debt they are prepared to pay. In 2014, nearly 2,000 people were on waiting lists to be a contract chicken farmer. Apart from improvements, maintenance or repairs to solve animal welfare issues, we do not need upgrades for equipment or case specifications in the middle of contracts. In recent years, chicken modernization technology has become increasingly widespread in the sector and the benefits are more well known, which is why we require farmers to meet a number of housing specifications outlined in the treaties. Among the advantages of more modern housing, there is a more comfortable environment for birds, with better ventilation and more regular temperatures across the barn. It also saves energy to heat and cool the house, which is a saving for the farmer. I was recently fortunate enough to be appointed to lead the poultry industry for Tyson Foods. Learning how to trade chickens is humiliating and exciting because my background is at Fresh Meats, which also includes pork and beef.

Wage farming in an excellent supplementary income for farmers, which helps farmers diversify their activities while providing modest incomes ($25,000 per year per house on average), which has helped to keep tens of thousands of families on small farms that would otherwise have had to abandon agriculture altogether. On average, nearly 95% of contract farmers are retained by the same company each year, and most businesses have waiting lists for farmers who want to enter into a partnership, as well as waiting lists for existing chicken farmers who want to increase their capacity by building more homes. While all contracted farmers benefit from the same quality of chicks, the same food and access to veterinary care, farmers who invest in more advanced facilities and farmers who care about best production practices will be likely to produce better quality chickens more efficiently. This structure, based on the most fundamental elements of any business atmosphere, is the best way to ensure that chicken farmers are rewarded for their sustainable production of quality chickens.