The Environmental Excellence of Alabama’s Poultry – The Cullman Tribune

(Photo courtesy of Alabama Cooperative Extension)

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Alabama. – Poultry is Alabama’s most productive agricultural product. The industry continues to strive for environmental excellence every day while meeting consumer demand.

Progress in Poultry Production

Through scientific research and the adoption of new technologies, poultry farmers are becoming more efficient. In fact, the poultry industry employs more than 86,000 Alabama workers and processes approximately 23 million broilers each week.

Genetic selection, precise nutrition and environmental control make this feat possible. Overall, Alabama’s poultry environmental footprint has halved since 1965. It takes 75 percent fewer resources today to produce the same amount of chicken meat just half a century ago. century.

“Every segment of the poultry industry has made improvements to reduce carbon emissions,” said Wilmer Pacheco, poultry specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. “We produce more meat, using fewer resources.”

Poultry efficiency

Poultry is known as one of the most sustainable meats to produce because it requires fewer resources. Farmers can achieve this goal while emitting less carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to some other meats.

Pacheco says the technology is at the forefront of poultry sustainability. The Alabama industry, with support from the National Poultry Technology Center, has adopted new technologies to reduce carbon emissions. These new pieces of equipment not only provide an optimal environment to reduce bird stress, but also improve bird welfare and efficiency.

Growers use computers to control temperature, ventilation and lighting conditions. For example, most poultry farmers are using new LED lights, which consume about 80% less energy compared to incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. They also last longer than the old style bulb.

Thermal cameras are also used to identify and seal air leaks or correct insulation problems in poultry houses, allowing for greater energy efficiency and environmental control.

In addition, more than 95% of poultry litter is recycled and reused in fertilized crops. This litter contains 30-35% carbon and helps recycle carbon back to farmland.

An environmental commitment

“Leading poultry integrators are committed to achieving net zero gas emissions by 2040 and 2050 across their global operations,” Pacheco said. “This promise goes hand in hand with the conservation practices of poultry farmers in Alabama.”

An example of these environmental practices are plant pads placed around poultry houses. These areas reduce ammonia emissions and reduce potential odors exiting the structures.

In most cases, the location of poultry facilities helps to mitigate carbon production. Hatcheries, farms, feed mills and processing plants are usually within an hour of each other. This proximity not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but also stresses birds during transport.

Winner Winner. . .

Alabama Poultry continues to become more efficient. Carbon emissions will be part of every poultry farmer’s conversation for many years to come, ensuring healthier products and a healthier environment for all. For more information about the Alabama poultry industry, visit the Alabama Extension website at

Down to Earth: Agriculture Supports Alabama

Alabama Extension becomes down to earth. Why? Because agriculture sustains Alabama. Whether your farming experience is at the grocery store, in the classroom, or as a profession, Extension has a resource for you.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension is in partnership with the Alabama Agribusiness Council, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Federation of Farmers, Alabama Poultry and Egg Association, the Alabama Forestry Commission, Sweet Grown Alabama, and the Alabama Association of RC&D Consultants.

Alabama Extension’s Down to Earth resources are available at

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