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A Bird’s Eye View of How Chicken Farmers Are Paid

How are chicken farmers paid by chicken companies?

Contract growers are independent chicken farmers who work under contract with a chicken company to raise chickens. They are guaranteed a base pay from the chicken company.

Bonuses are given to farmers who raise healthy flocks and invest in their farm. This is referred to as the tournament system.

How does the tournament system work?

  1. All farmers are provided the same quality of chicks, the same feed, and access to veterinary care.
  2. Farmers who invest in more advanced facilities, as well as use the best management practices will likely produce higher quality chickens more efficiently.

  3. Farmers receive a base pay (per their contract) and potentially a bonus, based on the health and quantity of the flock (tournament system).

Some call this the tournament system, but it really is a performance-based system that provides farmers with added incentive to raise healthy chickens. The healthier the flock, the more farmers are compensated. Not only is raising healthy chickens the right thing to do — but it makes good business sense!

For more information about how the tournament system works, check out this FAQ on the tournament system.