tile corn prices. With 40 percent
of the nation’s corn supply now
going to produce ethanol for fuel,
the chicken industry has reduced
production by about 10 percent
from 2007 levels to remain profit-
Chicken’s feed conversion provides
Bill Lovette, president and
CEO, Pilgrim’s Inc., said the U.S.
chicken industry has important
advantages over red-meat competitors. He cited numbers that
explain why chicken’s competitive
edge becomes more pronounced
during periods of high feed costs.
“It takes about 18 pounds of
feed to produce a pound of boneless beef and about 11 pounds
of feed to produce a pound of
boneless pork. It takes only about
three pounds of feed, however,
to produce a pound of boneless
chicken,” he said.
What’s more, it takes much
less time now to grow the chicken
to four pounds or eight pounds.
“Using today’s genetics and nutritional science, we can grow a
four-pound chicken in about 34 to
35 days whereas it once took six
weeks to grow a chicken to that
size. So the land is not tied up as
long and we can produce more
pounds per acre,” Lovette said.
Chicken production increasing in
Jim Perdue, chairman, Perdue
Farms, noted that chicken production is on the increase in a
number of countries due to the