Tornado destroys US poultry farm

A poultry farm in the US state of Mississippi has been torn apart by a recent tornado leaving about 220,000 chickens dead.

High winds destroyed Wilkes Farm in Noxapater, which is under contract with US meat giant Tyson Foods, and owned by Charlie and Cindy Wilkes. The farm had eight poultry houses holding 28,500 broilers each and losses are estimated to be $1.5 million.

Workers from Tyson Foods were trying to catch birds that survived the storm and were walking amongst the dead birds picking at the ground. The live birds would be put down humanely and buried along with the dead fowl and debris of the chicken houses.

Ray Ables, a production manager for Tyson, said he has never seen a farm as large as the Wilkes' suffer so much damage. He said Tyson, which has about 1,500 chicken houses in Mississippi, will help with the cleanup and hopes to work with the Wilkes when they rebuild.

Area farm owners estimate that about 30 chicken houses were damaged or destroyed, along with vehicles, offices and the houses and mobile homes of those who live there.

World Poultry

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