December 18, 2008


Tyson converts North Carolina plant to process larger chickens


Tyson Foods Inc. converts one of its plants to process larger chickens, company officials said on Wednesday (Dec 16).


The Wilkesboro Fresh Plant in North Carolina processes two different sizes of chickens, smaller chickens for fast-food restaurants and larger chickens for retail sales.


The company plans to shift the fast-food chickens to another Tyson plant outside the state in an effort to make the operations more efficient.


Some of Wilkesboro Fresh plant’s production will be temporarily shut down as some equipment requires changes to process more of the larger chickens.


Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said the change in operations will result in the production of fewer birds at Wilkesboro but the volume of pounds produced will be comparable to current levels.


N.C. Cooperative Extension Service area specialist in poultry Kathy Bunton said the change should not have a big effect on the area's Tyson growers.


Farmers are paid according to a formula that includes the weight of a chicken, the efficiency of the farmers and other factors.

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