|If I had a chicken farm... Wild hen or rooster on Kauai.|
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is going to buy 40 million Dollars worth of chicken from the poultry industry and donate the birds to federal food assistance programs. It's the bail out of the chicken farmers because they are having a hard year. The price of chicken food and the production of chickens have increased while consumption of chickens and thus their market price have dropped. Sounds like a horrible situation, farmers squeezed from both sides, the classical double whammy.
Alas, this is not he first time we are bailing out the chicken industry. According to CNN, the news outlet which originally published the chicken bailout story, the government bought 30 million Dollars worth of chicken products last year and 42 million worth of chicken products in 2008 to keep prices stable. If I had a chicken farm I'd make sure to produce too many birds next year too. Since industrially produced, regular fryers have a life expectancy of about six weeks* this should be easy.
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* The Wikipedia entry on poultry farming states, "Under intensive farming methods, a meat chicken will live less than six weeks before slaughter. This is half the time it would take traditionally. This compares with free-range chickens which will usually be slaughtered at eight weeks, and organic ones at around twelve weeks."