The Good Shepherd Blog

  • Chicken was not always as popular as it is today. In fact, in the early 1900s it was about 10 times less popular than pork and beef, with only 12lbs annual per capita consumption. Chicken was a gourmet food,

    Why has chicken exploded in popularity so much? What propelled it to these heights and what can we learn from its meteoric rise? These are the questions we’ll be exploring in this series.

  • In 1923 most chicken keepers had small backyard flocks that primarily produced eggs for the family and maybe a few of the neighbors or a local store. That was Cecile Steele’s intention when she ordered 50 baby chicks for her home flock in the Delmarva Peninsula. Much to her surprise she received 500 birds.

    A few months later she sold the 387 that survived at a tidy profit. Within three years Cecil was raising tens of thousands of birds annually and hundreds of other Delmarva farms began to copy her model. With this, a new way of raising poultry… was born.

  • In the 1940s, the poultry business was dominated by eggs production, with meat being mostly a by-product of that industry. The USDA wanted to change this by creating a chicken which would grow faster, fatter, and on less feed than ever before.

    The Chicken of Tomorrow contest was devised. Top breeders throughout the country would compete to breed the best bird in America with two of the country’s largest grocery store chains offering to sponsor the competition.

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