Trucker Talk #20-A Visit to a Chicken Farm

Last week I delivered a load of parts for some chicken houses that are being built over in Alabama. While I was there I had a chat with the owner and thought I’d share what we talked about. We did talk about the local economy but the main thing we talked about were chickens.

I asked him how many chickens he would have in each house and he said that he could have about 27,400 and this dude had 4 houses. That’s over 100,000 chickens! He told me that the chicks come in on pallets with 100 chicks per pallet. The chicks are then kind of dumped out of the carton because this is supposed to make them want to eat when they hit the ground. The new chicks are kept separate from the older ones to make sure they are disease free and to weed out the bad ones.

When it was all said and done I found out that from the time he gets the chicken, which will be one day old, to the time it can hit your table is about 45 days. Isn’t that amazing? It’s hard to believe that a chicken can grow that fast. Evidently, the company that buys the chickens from the farm sells the feed to the chicken farmer because I was told that the feed that is provided has everything the chicken needs to grow. I didn’t ask what company he was growing for but the most common in the area are Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson.

I also found out about where the chicks come from and the whole life span of an egg laying hen. Keep in mind this is a different farm. I guess that there are about 7000 hens in one house and when they arrive at the chicken house they will only produce about 15 eggs the first day out of 7000 hens. The percentage goes up each day until they get a lot of eggs. The eggs start out small and get bigger. I’m not clear one how they determine which ones they will hatch and which they will sell at the grocery store and I’m not even sure that is the same farm either.

I asked Jody what the life span of an egg laying hen was and he said one year. I couldn’t believe that either. I then asked what happened to the hen after that and he said they end up in soup. The meat is tough so they put it in something to make it tender. Who would have thought that?

Hope you learned a little something today and hope you will join me next week for another edition. I will be on vacation next week but will still have a post ready for you. Have a great week and Happy Trucking!!!

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