March 29, 2005
Coming home to roost
Contract chicken-raising is a big business. About 90 percent of U.S. chickens are raised in a system in which big companies like Tyson, Perdue, and Pilgrim’s Pride provide the chicks and the feed and pay farmers to raise them, with the payment formula based on weight. The farmers are responsible for the chicken houses, labor, electricity, and heat.
It’s a tough business, and the interests and while some farmers flourish, others go bankrupt. The economics of the business and some of the issues regarding the fairness of the process to farmers are the subject of an interesting article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
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