Theresia Lavergne | 6/30/2009 1:19:34 AM
Poultry production continues to be the largest animal agricultural industry in Louisiana and is second only to forestry in total income production for all agricultural commodities. In 2011, 867.2 million pounds of broiler meat were produced in Louisiana. The gross farm value of these broilers was $720.2 million in 2011. There were 299 commercial broiler producers. Commercial broilers are produced in 11 parishes including Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Sabine, Union, Vernon, Webster, and Winn.
There were 42 commercial breeder flock producers in 2011. These breeder flocks produced 19 million dozen eggs with a gross farm value of $37.9 million. Commercial breeder flocks are in 10 parishes including Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Sabine, Union, Webster, and Winn. Also, there were 11 commercial pullet producers that produced 1.2 million pullets with a farm value of $12.3 million. Commercial pullets are produced in five parishes including Claiborne, Lincoln, Sabine, Union, and Winn.
There were two commercial edible egg producers in Louisiana in 2011. Table egg production was 21.3 million dozen eggs. The farm value for commercial egg production was $22.5 million in 2011. Commercial edible eggs are produced in St. Helena and Winn parishes.
The gross farm value for all poultry production in Louisiana was $795.4 million and the total value of the industry (including value-added) was $1.6 billion in 2011.
There are three broiler complexes in Louisiana. Pilgrim’s owns a complex in Natchitoches, the House of Raeford has one complex in Arcadia, and Foster Farms has a complex in Farmerville.
Each of these complexes has a slaughter facility. The House of Raeford plant does a complete cut up and deboning of all of their chickens. The Pilgrim’s plant in Natchitoches cuts up their chickens for the fast food industry. And, the Foster Farms plant in Farmerville cuts up some of their chickens for the fast food and retail industries. In addition, there is a “cook” plant in Farmerville that produces cooked chicken products.
There has been some growth in the broiler industry each year in Louisiana. There are about 1,500 commercial poultry houses in Louisiana. All of these houses are owned by contract poultry growers. These contract producers grow broilers, breeders, or pullets for the three plants mentioned above.
Sanderson Farms owns a processing plant in Hammond. All of the broilers for this plant are grown in Mississippi.