poultry

A handful of companies — think Tyson and Perdue — all but control poultry production in the U.S. They’ll soon be joined by a retailer known more for selling rotisserie chickens: Costco, which is building a farm-to-table system based in Nebraska to supply itself.

Kansas lawmakers from the Leavenworth County area will address questions today about a chicken facility planned for outside Tonganoxie. The proposed $320 million Tyson plant could process more than 1 million chickens per week.

Jen Peak is a Tonganoxie resident who’s opposed to the plan. However, she says the meeting will be helpful for anyone interested in the project, which could include people outside Leavenworth County.

Tyson Foods Inc. and Kansas officials unveiled plans Tuesday for a $300 million chicken facility outside Tonganoxie, a town about 15 miles northeast of Lawrence. The project will include a hatchery, feed mill and plant capable of processing more than 1 million birds per week.

Doug Ramsey, Tyson’s group president for poultry, said the complex will employ about 1,600 people and will produce trays of chicken sold at grocery stores.

 

Tim Mueller has raised corn and soybeans on 530 acres near the city of Columbus, Nebraska, for decades, but today he is planning to take a big gamble.

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Beef and poultry operations nationwide are keeping a close eye on a ballot measure in Massachusetts, Politico reports.

The state ballot initiative, known as “Question 3,” would essentially ban inhumane confined animal-feeding operations. The law would require giving farm animals enough space to lie down, stand up, extend their limbs and turn around in their pens.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Chickens aren't a traditional pet. But with chicken coops springing up in more and more urban and suburban backyards, some owners take just as much pride in their poultry as their dog or cat. So much so that they're primping and preening them for beauty contests.

Tyson Foods is the country's largest poultry producer. The company will stop feeding its chickens human antibiotics. Farmers raising livestock often add low-level antibiotics in an effort to treat disease, prevent disease from spreading, and also to help animals grow more quickly.

Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

Farmers raised fewer turkeys this year than they have in the past three decades - about 235 million gobblers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ann Knowles raised 70 broad breasted bronze and white turkeys on her small farm in western Illinois.

She coops up the plump birds at night to guard against predators, but lets them roam freely during the day.