The degree of COVID-19 pandemic impact on retail chicken shops and butchers’ livelihood were assessed in the present study. The data collected on 38 butchers from eight states through semi-structured interview schedule employing the cross-sectional study during first and second weeks of May, 2020. During the COVID lockdown period, 21.1 % butchers closed their shops due to low demand, COVID-19 panic and poor supply chain. Limited availability of birds leads to increased sale price by 29.9%, but the quantity of sale decreased considerably. Maximum and significant increment of chicken price was observed in rural (49.2%) followed by peri-urban areas (43.5%). During the period, butcher’s earnings were significantly reduced by 55.6 % affecting the family income. The net loss was about ₹ 32.2/bird as the butchers could not utilize their resources to their potential. COVID-19 pandemic lead to reduced demand for chicken products leading to closure of shops, increased sale price, significant reduction in earnings resulting in distress to the families.