Less than two weeks ago, Tyson food executives, officials in Tonganoxie and Leavenworth counties in Kansas and Gov. Sam Brownback revealed a $320-million plan to develop "a chicken hatchery, feed mill, meatpacking plant and 300 to 400 poultry grow houses," reports the Topeka Capital-Journal. By Monday, 2,400 residents, including many ranchers, had gathered in the streets to protest the chicken plant, cheering a sign held by a 4-year-old: “No Tyson! No friggin’ chickens! No kidding!”
Poultry farms in India are dosing their chickens with antibiotics at such high rates that 94 percent of meat chickens and 60 percent of laying hens tested in a new study harbored multi-drug-resistant bacteria that can cause grave human infections.
The 21-day-old chicken — white-feathered, dark-eyed, with a brush-cut of pale yellow bristles above its beak — climbed carefully up a ramp, teetered briefly at the top, then launched itself into space. It landed on another bird, flapped hard, and gave its accidental landing pad an apologetic peck. Then it wandered off into a crowd of more than 49,000 chickens just like it that were hopping into boxes, poking their beaks into straw bales, and settling in pools of sunlight for a snooze.
The Humane Society of the U.S. praised Perdue, the country’s fourth-largest poultry producer, for a series of animal-welfare reforms that it called “meaningful and precedent-setting.” The reforms include installing windows in poultry houses to allow more natural light; giving each bird more space; putting the birds to sleep before slaughter; and testing slower-growing breeds.
The average cost of cleaning and disinfecting an egg farm hit by highly pathogenic avian influenza during the 2014-15 epidemic was $8 million, according to three researchers who examined the $879 million the government spent to combat the disease.
With 2015 in its final months, U.S. pork production, in a rebound from the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, is 8-percent larger than a year ago and broiler chicken production is up by 4 percent, says the monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.
U.S. cattle, hog and poultry producers are expanding production, the government said in forecasting a sharp 3-percent increase in per-capita meat consumption this year. In its monthly WASDE report, the Agriculture Department raised its forecast of meat production by more than 1 billion pounds for this year. It estimated that the average American would consume 208.5 pounds of beef, pork and poultry in 2015, the equivalent of 9 ounces a day.