Select Page

Chicken – Meat


Chickens came to Saskatchewan with the European settlers along with turkeys, ducks, and geese. Birds were frequently scavengers around the farmyard and provided the farmer with meat and eggs. Over time, farmers started to raise more chickens as a source of income.

A settler is feeding chickens, turkeys, and ducks in front of the barn.

Chickens came to Saskatchewan with European settlers.

A group of free-range chickens are eating grass outside.

Initially, chickens would be free-range and act as scavengers around the farmyard.

Broiler chickens are chickens that are raised for meat instead of eggs. Today, the number of chicken farms has decreased, but the total numbers of birds per farm has increased. Marketing boards regulate the production of chickens in Canada to make sure there is the right amount of supply and demand.

A group of chicks are standing together.

Chicken production is regulated.

A illustrated chicken is flapping its wings.
Chickens have wings, but cannot fly. They can get high enough off the ground to make it over a fence or a fallen tree.

Industry Overview

In 2017, there were 67 broiler chicken producers in Saskatchewan. These producers have large barns that can house 20,000 to 40,000 birds. Saskatchewan chicken farmers produced 47 million kilograms of meat (103 million pounds) in 2017.

An illustrated group of chicks are in a barn together next to a line of feeders.

There are 67 broiler chicken producers in Saskatchewan that produce over 47 million kilograms of meat each year!

The Saskatchewan poultry market is typically supplied by local broiler chickens that weigh between about 2 kilograms (4-5 pounds). Once the birds are of the proper size and health, they are sold to processing facilities. The chickens are transported from the farm to the processing facility where the meat is processed into many different cuts and products, and then packaged. The meat is then transported to grocery stores where the end consumer will purchase it to cook and eat the meat.

A butcher at a grocery store places packages of meat onto the shelves.

The meat is processed, packaged, and transported to grocery stores where it is sold to the end consumers.

There are also many byproducts made from animals in processing facilities, for example feathers are a byproduct of processing poultry. Byproducts are materials leftover from food production. Byproducts are not the primary goal of the agricultural system, but can be just as important. Making these byproducts also produces less waste, and is a way of recycling waste from processing animals. These products are processed, packaged, and sent to retail stores for customers to purchase.

An illustrated lightbulb is shown next to sketches of a recycling sign, a map, water drops, a wheat sheaf, and power lines.

There are many creative ways to recycle the waste created from processing animals for meat.

Who is Who?

Two hens are walking on grass and a pathway.


A female chicken is a hen.
A chick is sitting in the green grass.


A baby chicken is called a chick or a peep.
Did you know?


A male chicken is a rooster.

Animal Care

Chicken barns are well ventilated, meaning the air inside is at a proper temperature and humidity for the age of the birds. The birds are kept in a barn that is clean and disease free. The chickens raised for meat are not kept in cages but roam freely around the large barns.

The inside of a chicken barn is shown with feeders and water line  for chickens to eat and drink from.

There is a lot of technology in a chicken barn to make it a safe and clean environment for chickens.


Animal nutritionists advise the farmers on the best diets for the chickens and make sure they always have fresh feed and clean water. Chicken farmers closely monitor their birds for illness and disease.

Chicks are eating and drinking from the feeders and water lines that are provided in the barn.

Chickens eat and drink from feeders and water lines that are provided in the barns.

Animal Housing

Chickens are raised in barns to keep them safe from predators and harsh weather. On some farms, the chickens do go outside, but often they are just raised in barns.

Two chicks are drinking water from a water line in a chicken barn.

Barns provide a safe place for chickens to live.

There are feed and water lines that allows the birds to have access to food and water whenever they want. The feed and water lines are lifted as the birds grow bigger, so it is easy to access. Most chickens spend about 33 to 38 days in the barn before they go to get processed for meat.

A group of chicks are standing together.

These chicks are drinking from a water line.


Technology is very important on modern chicken farms. The chicken barn is equipped with a control room that the farmers are able to check on their technology through the barn computer. The barn computer controls the ventilation, humidity, and temperature. It also monitors water consumption, feed consumption, feed efficiency, and weight.

Chickens are eating from feeders in a chicken barn.

These feeders adjust in height as the chickens grow.


Broiler chickens provide us with many delicious meats.


Chicken meat is a low-fat, nutritious choice for meat. It is high in protein, essential amino acids, and other vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. It provides us with a lot of energy. Chicken white meat is from the breast and is known as one of the leanest protein sources. It is the most popular choice in Canada.

A girl is eating chicken with an apron on.

Chicken is a popular choice in Canada.