Chicken farming hobby highlights changing industry

Sonja Solomonson is in the minority of farmers who produce chicken and other poultry. She lives on a small farm with a small flock, while her competitors raise thousands of birds, contracted with one of the major agribusiness companies.

Five companies — Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Sanderson Farms, Perdue Farms and Koch Foods — produce 61% of the chickens Americans eat, about nine billion per year, which doesn’t leave much room for alternative methods of farming birds.