State's poultry industry dealt tremendous blow

MISSISSIPPI - Because of Hurricane Katrina's wrath, there are millions of dead chickens in Mississippi, prompting health concerns and dealing the poultry industry a blow that is expected to take nearly half a year to recover.

As part of the chicken belt, a swath of chicken growing and processing that runs through Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Georgia and Texas, Mississippi is a major producer of chicken and turkeys.

According to the National Chicken Council, about 10 percent of the poultry consumed in the United States comes from Mississippi, much of that in the south central area that was stricken by the killer storm.

Before the hurricane struck Monday, Craig Bryant, a farmer near Moselle, was raising 40,000 chickens in four coops to sell to Sanderson Farms for slaughter.

Katrina destroyed three of his chicken houses, badly damaged the fourth and killed every one of his birds. "There's nothing left," said Craig's father, Donald Bryant.

calendar icon 5 September 2005
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