Monday, March 31, 2008

H5N1 Step in the Right Direction

Does anyone remember a time not so long ago when we were facing our immanent demise from a little virus affectionately called “Bird Flu” that was supposed to knock us all on our ear? Well, to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t at the forefront of my list of concerns either. But a recent poultry headline caught my eye and rekindled my interested with the infamous H5N1. Now who amongst you isn’t interested in possible death by bird virus? Remarkably, the rest of the world hasn’t forgotten about our recent “brush with death” and has been working behind the scenes to unravel the mysteries of the virus in attempt to create a viable, marketable vaccine. Migrating Canada Geese, once eliminated au mass to prevent them from carrying the disease from poultry facility to poultry facility can begin to rest easy on their laurels due to news of promising research on H5N1 protein composition. Using this information, researches in the US and Tokyo have discovered simple manipulations of a viral protein that inhibits the replication process of the virus itself. Of course, more tests must be run before anyone runs out and buys the fireworks, but the results are looking promising. To view the whole article and for a more in-depth structural explanation of the protein deletion, see the following site <>. I’m always a fan of new and developing scientific shenanigans on an accusingly benign virus, but with Switzerland now in the scope of Bird Flu’s next assault, a bit of good news on the vaccination front couldn’t come at a better time. To read more on Swiss troubles, see

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Renewing the Poultry Industry in Iraq

While surfing the US Army Vet Corps website I found an interesting poultry article. The article is about the vet corps trying to establish the poulty industry again in Iraq. Now that the country has began to stabilize. The military is looking to stabilize the poultry industry The town of Mahmudiyah is traditionally considered to be the hub of the poultry industry and is located near Baghdad. This close proximity to the most intense fighting of the war has to say the least has stunted the poultry industry. With 40% of the country's eggs being imported there is plenty of room for growth of domestic egg production. The military is trying to band together the local farmers to create a kind of co-op type setup with local farmers. At the same time the military has begin to probe the idea of doing the same thing with the broiler industry of Iraq. And is in the beginning stages of setting that up

Monday, March 24, 2008

Some Interesting Facts from a U.S. meat exporter

As i searched around finding poultry headlines i stumbled onto a company known as SJS USA,INC that exports food to market such as Russia, CIS, and Baltic Sea. This company is based out of California. What grabbed my attention was searching through their website and looking under the American industry of meat and poultry tab. When searching there you can find statistics such as 17% of the labor powers in the U.S. relate to agriculture, or every six place of work relates to agriculture in some sort of way. Bi products and foodstuffs from an average sized farm can feed around 128 people in the world. The company then begins to explore how important poultry is in its market and how many shelled eggs (around 77 billion) are enjoyed each year. Along with the nutritional information given, the company also goes into the way the birds are raised and which areas of the U.S. are prevalent in poultry production. This company makes sure they cover all of their basis when talking about egg production and how well the chickens are maintained not only with their company but for the entire U.S. I was happy to see that this website was one of the first poultry sites i found when searching Google. There are many adds and animal rights groups that want to criticize agriculture in general, but this company goes in depth and sheds light on the entire industry and should be commended for doing so.

Mother Nature's Egg Blooper

When searching the web for national poultry news I came across a strange article from this website, On this page I found a short story on a rare egg that is first of its kind. An egg was hatched without the shell and was only held together by the shell membrane. Strange enough not only was the egg missing the shell, but it was also seperated into two different compartments. The shell membrane was holding the yolk in one compartment and the egg white (albumin) in another compartment. If this kind of event could occur again or could be reproduced, companies that produced egg seperators would be possibly go out of business. Also, resturants would increase their demand for this type of egg. The website for this specific rare egg article is also found on the previous website, is It provides pictures and a Utube video showing this strange eggs existance.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

more on pilgrim's pride plant closings

Pilgrim's Pride to close Plant City facility - Tampa Bay Business Journal:
Chicken processor Pilgrim's Pride Corp. plans to lay off 84 employees at its Plant City distribution center, starting in May. The employees are involved in transportation and warehousing for Pilgrim's Pride (NYSE: PPC), which filed an official layoff notice with the state. The Plant City distribution center is one of six centers the company has decided to close around the country to curtail losses because of feed cost increases, according to a release. Pilgrim's Pride, which is based in Pittsburg, Texas, stated the closings also are a result of an oversupply of chicken in the United States.

Pilgrim's Pride to cut jobs nationwide, but Waco plant's specialty may save local jobs
Poultry giant Pilgrim’s Pride, which has a processing plant in Waco, has announced it is cutting more than 1,100 jobs and will close a processing plant and six of its 13 distribution centers as it struggles to cope with rising grain prices.

The company, based in Pittsburg, Texas, confirmed it will close the processing plant in Siler City, N.C., which employs about 830 people.

Spokesman Ray Atkinson said the cuts may not stop there. The company continues to look at other processing facilities “for potential (product) mix changes, closure and/or consolidation.”

Pilgrim’s Pride has a total of 37 processing plants, 34 in the United States and three in Mexico. It also has 12 prepared-foods facilities.

The Waco plant on East Lake Shore Drive employs 700. Atkinson said he could not comment on the future of that plant or any other while Pilgrim’s Pride continues its assessment.

Truth About Trade & Technology - Pilgrim's Pride Plans Closings
In what it is calling an industrywide "crisis," the Pittsburg, Texas, company, whose 2007 revenue was $7.6 billion, says its cost for feed is expected to be more than $1.3 billion higher than two years ago.

The increase in feed costs is due largely to rising prices for the two main feed ingredients, corn and soybeans, which have more than doubled during the past year as demand for grain world-wide rises and as more grain is used to produce biofuels.

Pilgrim's Pride plans to close one of its 37 chicken-processing plants, along with six of its 13 U.S. distribution centers.

While many farmers are enjoying the high grain prices, purchasers and users of grain, like meat processor Smithfield Foods Inc. and packaged-foods company Kellogg Co., are trimming production and seeking cheaper ingredients. Pilgrim's Pride has increased prices it charges customers, although it wouldn't say by how much.

The retail price for broiler products is about $1.69 a pound, up about 10% from last year, according to figures from the U.S. Agriculture Department. Consumers are also starting to feel the pinch of higher prices at the grocery store.

Air-chilled chicken: Is it better than water chilled?

We may soon be seeing new labels on chicken at the grocery store telling us it is "air-chilled". This air-chilling process is new to the U.S., but is common in Europe and has been around for almost 50 years. There have been claims that chicken chilled by air tastes better than the traditional water-chilled birds. Some American food retailers, like Whole Foods in California, have already started to convert its chicken to air-chilled. Will this be the new rave in the world of poultry processing? Only time will tell.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lets Not Forget of the Realities Overseas

The existence of the bird flu is only feared in America. However, it is a reality overseas. Observed in ‘The News: International’ the government’s involvement of this real issue in Karachi a providence of Pakistan is growing. Government officials are stepping up to control avian flu types, and have pinpointed several causes of it. With 3,500 poultry farms in the area multi step plans are being formed which include sixteen “master trainers” whom monitor poultry farms. These new plans should reduce further infestations of bird flu’s. Here in American we are only faced with the issue of prevention, more than reduction, however reduction in oversea countries is a form of prevention for the US, and these plans should enter the worldwide agenda to cope with the growing concern of the bird flu.