photo: Maria Boychuk

Fascinating Facts About Alberta Chicken

By AMA Staff

There are thousands of different ways Albertans enjoy chicken every day, whether it’s baked, fried, grilled or even made into a soup. According to Statistics Canada, in 2019, chicken was the most consumed meat in our country. But did you know that Alberta chicken is also environmentally friendly?

You read that correctly—environmentally friendly! Which means that in addition to knowing that each delicious bite of chicken is providing your body essential nutrients, like protein and iron, you are also making a choice that’s good for the environment. Here are some fascinating facts about Alberta chicken that might pleasantly surprise you:

• Amazing but true: 62 percent of the energy used to raise chickens comes from renewable sources. In fact, compared to other countries, Canadian chickens have the lowest carbon footprint (which is also 37 percent lower than it was in 1976).

• A lot has changed in the past 45 years—our farmers now use 45 percent less water than they did back in 1976.

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These environmental changes have also led to the improved care of chickens:

• Since 2009, all Canadian farmers adhere to mandatory third-party audited Animal Care Programs.

• In 2016, the Canadian Code of Practice for chickens was updated, and in 2019, an enhanced Animal Care Program was developed and adopted. One hundred percent of Alberta chicken farmers have been certified in this program, and compliance is assured through audits and enforcement.

• All of Alberta’s chicken farms are family farms. These families want the best conditions for their birds, so they’re happy to comply with the Animal Care Program.

• The Canadian poultry industry has invested millions of dollars to research bird health.

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Alberta chicken farmers are also audited for food safety. They take pride in knowing that however you eat your chicken—whether in a creamy pasta dish or baked into a scrumptious homemade pie—that you and your loved ones will be safe.

So the next time you’re grilling chicken skewers on your barbecue or whipping up a chicken salad, you can feel really good about your choice to support our Alberta farming families!