Nebraska 4-H "Aspects of Ag" - Poultry
Nebraska 4-H "Aspects of Ag" - Poultry
Brett Kreifels, Nebraska Extension Educator
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- [00:00:13.530]Hi everyone. My name is Brett Kreifels,
- [00:00:15.090]extension educator with
- [00:00:18.180]We're going to talk today about poultry.
- [00:00:20.130]Nebraska is one of the key players
in the poultry industry here in the
- [00:00:22.830]United States. We not only produce
a lot of eggs for human consumption,
- [00:00:27.180]but we also produce a lot of broiler
meat for fried chicken,
- [00:00:31.920]chicken noodle soup chicken
as well as some turkeys.
- [00:00:34.920]So the goal today is we're going to
look at the differences between the
- [00:00:37.650]egg-laying industry and the
broiler industry in particular.
- [00:00:41.400]So we have a lot of
laying hens in the state,
- [00:00:43.710]and a lot of them live in
climate controlled buildings
where the food and water
- [00:00:47.910]is brought to them every single day.
And the temperature remains constant.
- [00:00:51.840]So when we have a winter,
like we had last year,
- [00:00:53.820]it would negative 20 negative 30.
It's still 70 degrees in that barn.
- [00:00:59.160]Same with the broiler chickens.
So these are our meat birds,
- [00:01:03.030]and they are raised primarily for meat.
- [00:01:04.740]And you can just see the difference
between these two chickens right here.
- [00:01:08.130]One's a lot taller and skinnier.
- [00:01:11.130]This one has a lot of muscle and
grows really, really quickly.
- [00:01:14.820]I get this question all the time.
- [00:01:15.930]Why can we not use roosters
for meat production? Well,
- [00:01:20.250]the reason why we use
broilers in particular is
because they've been selected
- [00:01:24.150]over many, many years for a fast
growth rate. So they produce,
- [00:01:28.620]enough meat about
six pounds in six weeks.
- [00:01:32.190]Whereas a rooster from
an egg-laying chicken
- [00:01:36.030]produces a lot less meat and
takes a lot longer to get there.
- [00:01:39.780]So it'll take a hen about five months
to six months to start laying eggs,
- [00:01:44.850]where these guys, like I said, are
processed in about six to eight weeks.
- [00:01:48.150]And these are the ones that
end up on your table, Kentucky,
- [00:01:50.670]Kentucky fried chicken,
chicken noodle, soup, chicken,
- [00:01:54.390]chicken wings for the super bowl
that comes from this bird right here.
- [00:01:58.680]So let's talk more about the broilers.
- [00:02:01.140]So broilers are not raised in cages.
- [00:02:04.140]They are raised on litter type floors,
and we can get multiple flocks per year,
- [00:02:08.790]usually about six flocks per year in
a barn of about 40,000 chickens. Now,
- [00:02:13.050]if you drive around Nebraska,
- [00:02:14.250]you may see a number of long
barns right next to each other.
- [00:02:19.110]These are likely chicken, chicken
barns, either broilers or layers.
- [00:02:23.310]So that's a lot of broiler chickens,
a lot of meat. like I said,
- [00:02:27.540]the raise to about six weeks of age
climate controlled buildings to start out.
- [00:02:31.350]When I come out of the incubator about
90 degrees in that barn and slowly drops
- [00:02:35.730]to about 75 degrees as they get to
about that six, six week, seven week,
- [00:02:40.290]mark. Broilers are never given
any hormones or steroids. Right,
- [00:02:45.210]there's natural growth. We feed them
good high quality feed with high protein,
- [00:02:50.130]high vitamins and minerals. Now
that gets them to grow really,
- [00:02:52.290]really quickly and produce a lot of
muscle. And here's the finished product.
- [00:02:58.020]One thing that people don't realize
is broilers are actually a hybrid.
- [00:03:01.900]They are crossbreed between a
Plymouth rock and a Cornish.
- [00:03:06.100]The Plymouth rock gives the,
- [00:03:07.840]gives the growth and the
Cornish gives the muscle, right?
- [00:03:12.280]So these are actually a crossbreed
chicken that we produce primarily
- [00:03:17.050]just for meat. Could they reproduce
later on? It'd be really hard
- [00:03:22.150]just because of the
size of the of the bird.
- [00:03:24.820]And you're not going to get
the the normal broiler
- [00:03:27.580]if you breed two broilers
together. So here's just
- [00:03:32.250]a picture of how fast these
birds grow. So here's day one,
- [00:03:36.670]the chicken is covered in
down. It looks like a cute,
- [00:03:39.220]fuzzy little chick by the time it's one
week old, it's almost doubled in size.
- [00:03:44.440]And again, by two weeks, it's almost
doubled in size again. All right.
- [00:03:47.980]By of the time we get to be
six, seven and eight weeks,
- [00:03:51.250]this bird is ready for the
table. And a lot of kids ask,
- [00:03:55.450]can we keep these birds longer than
seven, eight weeks? Well, we can,
- [00:03:59.980]but because of the fast growth rate,
we can get some health problems.
- [00:04:03.790]So we need to harvest them at
around that seven, eight week mark,
- [00:04:07.210]even six week mark so we can alleviate
some of those, those health problem.
- [00:04:12.970]But with the broilers, they eat
corn and soybean based diets.
- [00:04:15.940]So it's a great place to have in Nebraska
because we have corn and soybeans here.
- [00:04:20.080]And a lot of our soybeans in particular
never actually leaves the state and they
- [00:04:23.620]get to be fed to our chickens, our
broilers, our turkeys, and even our pigs.
- [00:04:28.420]So that's why we have so many chickens
here in Nebraska because we have the
- [00:04:31.930]resources. We have the food
and the water and the space.
- [00:04:37.960]Let's transition to the
egg production side.
- [00:04:40.630]So the majority of our chickens here
in Nebraska are actually used for egg
- [00:04:44.080]production. And the one in
particular is the white leghorn.
- [00:04:48.160]So that chicken lays roughly
about 300 eggs per year.
- [00:04:52.630]So a hundred, 365 days,
- [00:04:54.700]she'll lay about 300 eggs and
she'll do that for about two years.
- [00:04:58.180]So that's why they're using the industry
primarily for egg production and not
- [00:05:01.990]some of your other breeds that you
might've heard of like the Plymouth rocks,
- [00:05:05.650]or even we call them the
Easter Eggers, or
even the Rhode Island Red.
- [00:05:10.090]It's just because they don't produce as
much. And plus they eat a lot of feed.
- [00:05:14.500]We've got these,
- [00:05:15.550]white leghorns to produce a lot
of eggs on very minimal feed because
- [00:05:19.660]70% of the cost of raising livestock,
- [00:05:22.510]whether it be cattle or pigs
or chickens is the feed.
- [00:05:26.500]So white leghorn hens can produce
a lot of eggs on minimal feed.
- [00:05:31.040]That's why they're so
widely used in an industry,
- [00:05:34.510]but we also have brown egg layers.
You can see some brown eggs here,
- [00:05:37.210]and I have a brown egg here as well.
- [00:05:40.480]So we have quite a few brown egg laying
chickens that have been produced to lay a
- [00:05:43.810]lot of eggs, like the
- [00:05:47.710]If you go to the store
and you buy a brown eggs,
- [00:05:49.630]you're probably gonna notice that they
cost a little bit more than the white
- [00:05:53.590]eggs do. And the reason goes
back to what I just said,
- [00:05:57.200]the white leghorn hens
who lay the white eggs,
- [00:05:59.660]don't eat as much and they
grow really quick. Again,
- [00:06:03.200]we can get eggs in about five
months to six months of age,
- [00:06:06.320]we're in the brown egg layers
that eat a little more,
- [00:06:09.380]take a little more time to
get up to egg production.
- [00:06:11.930]So they cost a little more to raise.
- [00:06:13.760]That's why the eggs are a little bit
more expensive in the stores, okay?
- [00:06:18.710]But you're traditionally a white egg
and a brown egg are the exact same,
- [00:06:24.110]especially if the raise in the
same farm and at the same feed,
- [00:06:26.750]those eggs are nutritionally the same.
Now I have a brown egg layer here.
- [00:06:31.910]She lays the brown egg that
I just showed you showed you,
- [00:06:34.490]but how do we know that a hen will
lay a brown egg or a white egg
- [00:06:39.710]so we can tell what type of egg or what
color of an egg head is going to lay by
- [00:06:44.270]looking at a key feature on this
hen. So this is a brown hen,
- [00:06:49.550]or we traditionally call it a red hen.
- [00:06:52.310]Now the feather color has nothing
to do with the color of the
- [00:06:57.140]egg. Absolutely nothing. So you could
have a red chicken or a brown chicken,
- [00:07:01.250]and she can still lay a white egg.
- [00:07:03.080]Here's the key piece that we
need to look at is right here,
- [00:07:07.730]this little red spot right here,
this is called the ear lobe.
- [00:07:11.120]And you have an ear lobe
too. So because this is red,
- [00:07:15.290]this tells me that this hen will lay a
brown egg. If this was a white ear lobe,
- [00:07:20.660]she would lay a white egg.
Now I know what you're asking.
- [00:07:23.450]What about the green egg
layers and the blue egg layers.
- [00:07:27.440]They also have a red at your lobe,
but that is a breed characteristics.
- [00:07:31.820]So those are the
Americanas or Americaunas.
- [00:07:34.370]And sometimes we call them the Easter
Eggers and they are specific breeds that
- [00:07:38.150]produce the different colored eggs.
- [00:07:40.490]But that's an easy way to tell if your
hen is going to lay a brown egg or a
- [00:07:44.150]white egg now in the
production systems, right?
- [00:07:47.990]We have a couple of different
types of production systems.
- [00:07:50.330]We have the conventional caged
system where the hens are raised in
- [00:07:54.860]cages. The food and
water is brought to them.
- [00:07:57.590]We have cage-free systems
and we have aviary systems.
- [00:08:01.640]And actually we also have free range
systems where the birds are able to go
- [00:08:04.340]outside, scratch around. There's
pros and cons to each system. Okay.
- [00:08:09.470]But all of them are, are the same
in terms of eggs are collected.
- [00:08:14.090]They usually are raised
in a climate controlled
environment minus the free range
- [00:08:18.260]system. Okay. And they're all fed in
nutritionally, balanced diet. Again,
- [00:08:22.670]based on that corn and soybean based diet,
- [00:08:24.710]finding vitamins
and minerals are all there.
- [00:08:28.220]Sometimes in certain systems,
- [00:08:30.380]the eggs are actually
collected by sloped floors,
- [00:08:35.030]especially in the cage systems.
They just come off the,
- [00:08:37.700]off the floor and they
roll onto a conveyor belt.
- [00:08:40.460]And that conveyor belt rolls those
eggs in the processing facility,
- [00:08:44.750]where they are washed and graded.
- [00:08:47.780]And we grade them based on
their size and their weight,
- [00:08:52.220]as well as some defects. Well,
- [00:08:54.770]we have workers here that check
the eggs for all those defects.
- [00:08:58.770]We have candling systems
that look inside the egg.
- [00:09:00.960]We actually have video
cameras that can detect,
- [00:09:04.200]what we call blood spots and
meat spots, which if a consumer,
- [00:09:08.730]you opens up those eggs and finds
a blood spot or meat spot,
- [00:09:12.000]it might be kind of unappetizing, right?
- [00:09:14.130]So we have technology that
is used to identify those,
- [00:09:18.060]to kick them out. So they're not
going into human consumption.
- [00:09:21.720]Those eggs usually go into what we call
rendering and they can end up in dog
- [00:09:25.470]food, cat food, and other types
of different, different foods.
- [00:09:30.300]Okay. But all eggs are washed.
- [00:09:33.780]This is kind of a cool thing here
in the United States, all our eggs,
- [00:09:37.320]or I should say majority of
our eggs are refrigerated.
- [00:09:40.740]If you go to other countries,
especially in European countries,
- [00:09:43.560]they don't refrigerate
eggs. And the reason is,
- [00:09:46.350]is because we wash the eggs on the
outside of this egg right now is what's
- [00:09:50.460]called the bloom.
- [00:09:52.140]The bloom is a protective coating put on
by the hen where she lays the eggs and
- [00:09:56.610]this protects the egg from bacteria.
- [00:10:00.240]So when they get bacteria that
we can get either us sick.
- [00:10:03.960]Sometimes if we don't cook the eggs
properly, or it's more for the baby chick,
- [00:10:08.280]that could be,
- [00:10:08.820]but developing inside this egg to
prevent it from getting any bacterial
- [00:10:11.460]infection, but because we've washed off
the bloom during the processing,
- [00:10:16.770]we need to refrigerate the eggs and
eggs can be stored a long time in the
- [00:10:21.360]refrigerator. Like I said, they're
graded based on their size,
- [00:10:25.770]based on their weight and based on
their, any abnormalities with a AA,
- [00:10:30.390]which is a very fresh egg that has
an air cell about the size of a dime.
- [00:10:35.250]An A has an air cell
about the size of an,
- [00:10:38.010]of a nickel and a B great egg
has an air sail size of a corner.
- [00:10:43.440]So if you candle these eggs,
you can look at the big end,
- [00:10:45.900]the round end of the egg, and you
can look at that little air pocket,
- [00:10:48.490]the air cell, and can determine its grade
based on that size of that air cell.
- [00:10:53.430]We use the coin method because
it's the easiest method and it's pretty
- [00:10:56.820]accurate. All right. So
what about egg production?
- [00:11:00.630]How many eggs would be produce per
year here in the United States?
- [00:11:03.780]So we usually produce
about 83 billion eggs per
- [00:11:08.550]year. Okay, on average.
- [00:11:11.220]So that's roughly about 276 eggs
per hen for a, for an average year,
- [00:11:15.360]and that's going to be
the white leghorn hens,
- [00:11:17.220]and it's going to be our
brown egg, egg layers as well.
- [00:11:20.070]So we produce a lot of eggs that not
only is used here in the United States,
- [00:11:24.000]but it's also exported to other
countries. They're best stored with the
- [00:11:28.710]large end up in the cartons.
- [00:11:30.540]And a lot of that is due to just
being able to fit well in the cartons,
- [00:11:34.890]but also they keep better because
the pressure on the air cell,
- [00:11:39.720]is not there. If we, if we
storw them with the pointy end up,
- [00:11:43.650]there's a lot of pressure on the air
cell, especially for hatching eggs.
- [00:11:46.560]We don't want to do that. Okay.
- [00:11:49.830]And they can be more can age more
in one day at room temperature
- [00:11:53.470]than in one week and the refrigerator
it's warmer that air cell expands.
- [00:11:58.630]some of the proteins in the
egg starts to degrade a little bit.
- [00:12:01.990]So that's why we put them
in a refrigerator. It kind
of slow all that down.
- [00:12:05.530]We can keep eggs in the refrigerator for
a long time if we keep them cool below
- [00:12:10.060]40 degrees Fahrenheit. I
mentioned this earlier,
- [00:12:13.540]but I'm just gonna reiterate this.
- [00:12:14.740]This is a pretty cool concept that
all eggs are nutritionally the exact
- [00:12:19.510]same. So a brown egg, a white egg,
- [00:12:21.970]even a green egg and blue
egg produce from those,
- [00:12:25.180]Easter Eggers or Americanas, Aracaunas
are all nutritionally. The exact same.
- [00:12:30.460]The only thing that's different
is the egg shell color.
- [00:12:34.360]That's the only thing that's different.
- [00:12:37.420]So one thing I'll mention real quick is
we do have a very small Turkey industry
- [00:12:41.110]here in here in Nebraska.
- [00:12:43.930]We don't produce as many turkeys as
we used to in the, in years past,
- [00:12:48.340]but a lot of our turkeys do get processed
in other states produced here in
- [00:12:52.420]Nebraska and shipped over to other
states to be processed into deli meat
- [00:12:57.910]Some are produced into Thanksgiving
turkeys as well as other types of turkey
- [00:13:03.370]cool fact is a lot of your Thanksgiving
turkeys are actually female turkeys are
- [00:13:08.110]hens. the reason why
we don't use Tom's for,
- [00:13:11.410]for Thanksgiving turkeys is for the
simple reason that they're just too big.
- [00:13:16.240]they don't fit in the oven very well.
- [00:13:18.220]So you do have a small Turkey industry.
- [00:13:21.490]A lot of them are used for deli meats
and other further processed foods.
- [00:13:25.120]So hopefully you enjoy a little bit
and learn a little bit about poultry.
- [00:13:29.350]Like I said earlier, Nebraska is a key
player in the poultry industry in the
- [00:13:32.890]United States,
- [00:13:34.150]and we keep getting bigger and bigger
and bigger as the years go by. So,
- [00:13:39.010]thank you.
- [00:13:40.420]Hopefully you learned a little bit
about poultry here in Nebraska.
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