US Chicken Consumption Remains at All-Time High, Growth Tempers Somewhat

Published with permission by the National Chicken Council. Originally posted on July 18, 2017.

Nine in ten consumers purchase chicken regularly

Asheville, NC – U.S. consumers report their chicken consumption remains high although 2017 levels have moderated and returned to those seen a couple of years ago, according to new research presented today at the 2017 Chicken Marketing Summit.

Recalling behavior during the two weeks leading up to the survey, 84% of consumers said they ate a chicken meal or snack purchased from a supermarket and 67% ate a chicken meal or snack from a food service establishment. Both supermarket and food service establishment consumption numbers decreased, 3.4% and 6.9% respectively, and are now at parity with those seen in 2015.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects Americans will eat close to 92 pounds of chicken per person this year, breaking last year’s record of 91 pounds,” said NCC Senior Vice President of Communications Tom Super.  “Although consumers’ self-reported consumption is down slightly in the survey, the data show that chicken is still top of mind for consumers.”

Although past two week consumption has decreased somewhat, consumers’ taste for chicken shows no signs of waning.  In the next 12 months, 21% of consumers anticipate eating more chicken from the supermarket and 13% anticipate eating more from a food service establishment.  Consumers with the highest consumption levels tend to skew younger and be more ethnically diverse and live in larger households.

As part of the survey, consumers were asked to rank various factors on satisfaction and in order of importance.  Regardless of purchase channel, the importance of freshness, taste and price rise to the top.  Consumers are satisfied with freshness and taste, however satisfaction with price at supermarkets is somewhat lower.

Overall, the majority of consumers purchase uncooked or precooked chicken at the supermarket to prepare or reheat at home.  While Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are more likely to purchase uncooked chicken to cook at home, Millennials are twice as likely as their older counterparts to buy pre-cooked chicken and eat it in the store.

When prompted, 69% of consumers were extremely or very concerned about food safety, and 57% about hormone / steroid use, and 55% about antibiotic use.  Although still low, concern is growing about the time it takes to raise a chicken – 26% were extremely or very concerned this year while 19% were last year.

When it comes to reasons that consumers purchase chicken over other types of meat, its healthiness, versatility and convenience top the list.

Consumers are being exposed to media coverage relative to the care of chickens.  Nearly three-quarters said they have seen articles in the past year and most of those would characterize the tone of the coverage as neutral or negative.

Consumers consider themselves to be knowledgeable about the care of chickens yet most have incorrect perceptions.  In an exercise where they were asked to identify statements about the care and raising of chickens as true or false, the majority answered incorrectly for most statements.

The survey was commissioned by the National Chicken Council and conducted online by ORC International June 5 – 8, 2017, among 1,013 adults.  Funding was provided by Elanco and WATT Global Media.  A full copy is available by clicking here.

Tips to Control Lice and Mites on Poultry

Published with permission by Poultry Times.  Originally posted on August 21, 2017.

By Dr. Dan Cunningham

Special to Poultry Times

ATHENS, Ga. — Ectoparasites (e.g. lice & mites) are often a problem for small flock producers. These insects are extremely small (about the size of a pin head) and difficult to detect unless one knows how and where to look for these pests.

Even though they are very small and not easily noticed, they can cause problems for caretakers as well as the birds themselves. Heavily infested flocks can suffer substantial economic losses as a result of reductions in egg production, reduced weight gains, lower hatchability, increased feed costs and increased mortality.

Poultry workers may experience the uncomfortable conditions of numerous bites and skin rashes. The following is useful information for controlling these parasites in small flocks:

Northern Fowl Mite (white, gray, black or red in color)

Hosts include wild birds and rodents as well as poultry.
Infestations can occur at any time of the year.
Mites generally spend their entire life on or near the host.
Life cycle can be complete in as little as 5 days.
Chicken Mites (white, gray, black or red in color)

Hosts include wild birds (pigeons are a popular host) as well as poultry.
Hide off hosts during the day in nest boxes, cracks and crevices. Feed on hosts at night.
Life cycle can be complete in as little as seven days.
Workers may experience bites, itching or rashes.
Chicken Body Louse (yellowish color, flat body)

Spends it entire life on the chicken. No other hosts.
Chewing lice that feed on skin and feathers.
Life cycle is complete in 18 to 21 days.
Generally found around the vent area.
Management

It is not difficult to monitor birds in a small flock on a regular basis. Birds and nests should be checked at least monthly for signs of lice or mites. More frequent monitoring may be needed if the problem is severe.

Check birds at the base of the feathers and around the vent area for adult lice and mites or for evidence of eggs. Eggs may appear as dirty gray areas at the base of the feathers, particularly around the vent.
Look for evidence of lesions or skin irritation anywhere on the body of the bird.
Examine nest boxes for evidence of mites. Mites may be seen as rapidly moving specks on the nesting material or the hands. A flash light may be helpful in looking for these pests.
Be alert for unexplained rashes, itching or other skin disorders on workers.
Treatment

The most common treatment for poultry lice and mites for small flock owners is the use of a dust powder or spray solution. Permethrin and tetrachlorvinphos are insecticides commonly used for treating poultry with ectoparasites. These insecticides can be found in dust or spray applications in most farm animal supply stores and can be applied directly to the birds or to treat nests. Permethrin strips that can be hung in the pens are also available for lice and mite control. Regardless of which insecticide is used, it is important to follow label instructions.

Bird Application — To ensure proper treatment, it is important that all birds be treated. The insecticide must be applied so that it penetrates to the skin. Thorough application of the insecticide to the base of the feathers of all birds will be required. In addition, a follow up application will be necessary to kill newly hatched larvae. Eggs of ectoparsites are unaffected by these insecticides.
Application to Premises — When applying insecticides for ectoparasites, the material should be applied to areas where these pests hide. Thus, nest boxes, side and end walls, cages and other stationary equipment should be treated. As with direct application to the birds, a second application to kill parasites that may have hatched following treatment will be necessary.
Individuals should always follow label instruction on interval usage and application rates for pesticides. All pesticides are most effective when applied to clean facilities.

Controlling ectoparasites in poultry flocks will result in healthier and more economically productive birds for the pleasure and benefit of your family.

Dr. Dan Cunningham is a retired professor of poultry science with the University of Georgia’s Department of Poultry Science in Athens, Ga.

BioSafe Systems to Exhibit at IGC Chicago 2017 – Booth #1323!

EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut – BioSafe will be exhibiting at the 2017 Independent Garden Center Show August 15-17 in Chicago, IL.

Booth #1323 will be manned by Retail Market Segment Manager, Tammy Raymond and Brand Manager, Laura Bengston. Come by the booth to learn about eco-friendly products that offer commercial-strength results.

BioSafe is one of the largest manufacturers of peroxyacetic acid (PAA) in North America providing sustainable disease control products to the Aquatics, Home & Garden industries.

For questions about this press release please call 888-273-3088

BioSafe System’s AzaGuard Now Approved for Poultry and Livestock Applications

EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut – AzaGuard is a botanical based insecticide/nematicide that offers broad spectrum insecticidal control on over 300 insect species.  The new comprehensive label includes applications to control darkling, hide and carrion beetles specific to poultry houses and for use in organic poultry production.

Composed of a 3% Azadirachtin formula, this Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) is EPA and OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) approved and controls insects in the larval, pupal, and nymphal stages.

BioSafe Systems is committed to providing poultry farms with effective and sustainable products that meet strict industry standards. To learn more about how AzaGuard is an effective insecticide, please contact Michael Applewhite by email at mapplewhite@biosafesystems.com  or call him at 256-677-2802.

For questions about this press release please call 888-273-3088.