USDA this week released its December Slaughter report, which indicated an increase of two percent increase in young chickens slaughtered from December 2021. Average weights were also up from a year ago.

Poultry certified wholesome during December 2022 (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 4.32 billion pounds, up three percent from the amount certified in December 2021. The November 2022 revised certified total at 4.43 billion pounds, was up six percent from November 2021.

The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during December 2022 was 5.69 billion pounds, up three percent from 5.52 billion pounds a year ago. Young chickens inspected totaled 5.09 billion pounds, up four percent from December 2021. Mature chickens, at 66.1 million pounds, were up three percent from the previous year.

Young chickens slaughtered during December 2022 averaged 6.56 pounds per bird, up two percent from December 2021. The average live weight of mature chickens was 6.91 pounds per bird, up three percent from a year ago.

Ante-mortem condemnations during December 2022 totaled 13.6 million pounds. Condemnations were 0.24 percent of the live weight inspected, as compared with 0.22 percent a year earlier. Post-mortem condemnations, at 26.2 million pounds, were 0.60 percent of quantities inspected, unchanged from a year earlier.

USDA’s full December Slaughter report can be found here.