Cooking Guide

The Ultimate Showdown: Find Out Which Chicken Is Best For Your Meal – Broiler Or Country?

Have you ever wondered where the chicken you eat on the plate comes from?

Why trust me?

I'm an experienced food writer and passionate cook. My website,, features accessible, informative, and engaging content with quality recipes and articles that are thoroughly researched and enjoyable to read. You can trust my expertise with 8 years of experience in the field. Learn more about me and my work on this website, and check out my featured articles on TastingTable, Mashed, and 5-Minute Crafts. Read more about me HERE.

We are going to compare broiler chicken and country chicken, the two popular types of chicken that are raised for their meat with their own pros and cons so that you know what best suits your needs.

What are broiler chickens?

Broiler chickens are bred and raised for their meat production.

Many people think that all chickens are raised equally, but this is not the case.

Broiled chickens are typically raised in a factory farm environment with little space to move around or expose to natural light.

These chickens are bred for fast growth and quick weight gain so they can be slaughtered at an early age (like six to seven weeks) but still produce more meat than other types of chicken.

Broiler chickens are mainly given a diet of corn and soybeans to fatten them up.

Since they don’t get much exercise, their meat is tender and takes less time to cook, which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the eater.

What are country chickens?

Country chickens refer to the chickens that are raised naturally by local farmers, typically on their farms or in the backyard by families.

They make up for their smaller size but have a delicious taste.

A country chicken is allowed to roam freely on the farm where they can eat vegetables, worms, or other natural feeds from their home garden, or grains that have been grown organically without pesticides.

Therefore, their meat is free of antibiotics or hormones, as well as tougher in texture because they are much more active.

Country chickens also live longer than broiler chickens, and farmers often let them grow older and fully develop their muscles before slaughtering them.

This makes country chicken meat much more flavorful, richer, and takes a longer time to cook, but the result is gonna be worth it.

What are the differences between broiler chickens vs country chickens?

Broiler chickens and country chickens may look very similar and it is hard for you to know which poultry is broiler chicken and which one is country chicken when they are alive.

But the following differences will help you differentiate broiler chicken and country chicken easier, at least after they are cooked.

 ComparisonBroiler chickensCountry chickens
Raising methodTypically raised in factory farms with less space, controlled temperature, and feed (corn and soybeans) Don’t have access to the outdoors and receive antibiotics and hormones occasionallyRaised in local farms or backyards with more space, organic diets (grains, worms, vegetables,…) Have access to natural light and are more active Don’t receive antibiotics or hormones
Growth rateFasterSlower
Life spanShorter, often being slaughtered at six to eight weeksLonger, slaughtered when the birds reach three to four months (12 to 16 weeks old)
TextureTender, fattierTougher, leaner

What are the similarities between country chickens vs broiler chickens?

Despite many differences between broiler chickens and country chickens, we all know that they are actually the same kind of animal.

Therefore, there are also some similarities between these two types of poultry.

1. Broiler chicken and country chicken are rich sources of protein and many essential nutrients

The texture and flavor of meat that is produced by broiler chickens and country chickens might be slightly different, but they are both rich in protein.

Chicken has always been considered a healthier alternative for red meat.

It is lower in saturated fat but still provides us with many essential nutrients like phosphorus, folate, selenium, zinc, copper, iron, calcium, niacin, and B-vitamins.

However, keep in mind that broiler chicken meat might contain some unexpected toxins that are given to the bird’s body while raising.

2. Broiler chicken and country chicken can be cooked the same way

Another similarity between broiler chicken and country chicken is how they are cooked.

Chicken is one of the most popular and favored kinds of meat all over the world because it is so versatile.

There are numerous ways to cook chicken, no matter if it comes from a broiler chicken or country chicken.

You can grill, bake, roast, broil, boil, steam, or deep-fry chicken.

However, there might be some differences when cooking the whole chicken or individual cuts as well that you should consider.

Which one is better?

Nowadays, most people tend to purchase what’s on sale at the grocery store instead of buying what’s best for them.

Taking into consideration convenience and health benefits, which do you think would be worth it?

We all know that eating healthily without sacrificing the delicious taste is ideal, so country chicken definitely reigns supreme.

However, in case you don’t have access to them, buying lean cuts like chicken breast from broiler chickens will be just fine.

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
Back to top button