Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE95-097.
Mr. Litch raises chickens and turkeys; he also operates a processing facility where he slaughters and packages his birds, as well as those sent him by other growers. Birds that arrive dead or severely damaged are at best of diminished value, and at worst, unsaleable. Mr. Litch reports that many birds arrive at his facility dead of suffocation, or with broken legs and wings, due to improper handling and haphazard transportation methods. He addressed this problem by obtaining a number of poultry crates and demonstrating for his suppliers the proper means of packing and transporting the birds, to minimize damage en route. He stresses the importance of not using banana boxes, pillow cases, or other makeshift containers, and of not piling the birds unrestrained into a large volume. After each use the crates are sterilized, so that they will not serve as vectors of avian disease. Mr. Litch also worked with farmers to improve growing conditions for their poultry, and in particular to reduce the incidence of breast blister, which commonly develops when the litter in which poultry are raised is not kept clean and dry.