Ala. poultry industry hit hard by tornadoes - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Ala. poultry industry hit hard by tornadoes

Ray Hilburn and other association members spent time in North Alabama assessing the damage and helping growers and companies recover. Ray Hilburn and other association members spent time in North Alabama assessing the damage and helping growers and companies recover.
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The tornadoes not only killed hundreds of people and destroyed thousands of people's lives; it also caused major damage to the state's poultry industry.  Hundreds of chicken houses were destroyed, killing millions of birds.  

"When these houses get blown away, there's several thousand birds per house, you're trying to catch those birds up who didn't get killed," said Ray Hilburn, membership director for the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association.  "And clean that up and if there's any birds injured, trying to euthanize them properly."

Hilburn and other association members spent time in North Alabama assessing the damage and helping growers and companies recover. 

"It's not only the physical damage they suffered, it's the mental stress they're having," Hilburn said.  "Because a lot of these growers have not only lost their poultry houses, their income, but they've lost their personal homes and possessions."

Johnny Wilkins of Lawrence County is one of the growers.  Wilkins lost 40,000 of his chickens.

"It tore me up until today I'm just over it more today," Wilkins said.  "I guess I'm just getting used to it, my chicken houses, trailers, everything was gone>

When the counting's done, millions of chickens will be dead across the state.    But Hilburn said it shouldn't have much of an effect on poultry prices.

"We lost over 3 million birds, but we process over 4 million birds a day," Hilburn said. "So it will not impact the industry as far as supply."

However, the tornadoes were still devastating to individual farmers and companies.  Hilburn - a poultry grower himself -says it was important for him to help.

"I feel like this it's my brothers out there that's lost and I feel like I need to be up there with them, supporting them." Hilburn said.

Hilburn said at least one poultry grower died during the tornado outbreak.  Many of the poultry companies have moved operations to facilities in South Alabama.  The Department of Agriculture and Industries is working along with other groups to help the growers recover.  The Poultry and Egg Association has started a relief drive to help affected growers.

Copyright 2011 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Science Says: Hotter weather turbocharges US West wildfires

    Science Says: Hotter weather turbocharges US West wildfires

    Sunday, August 19 2018 11:27 AM EDT2018-08-19 15:27:02 GMT
    Sunday, August 19 2018 11:27 PM EDT2018-08-20 03:27:49 GMT
    (AP Photo/Noah Berger). FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2018 file photo, firefighters monitor a backfire while battling the Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire near Ladoga, Calif. The years with the most acres burned by wildfires have some of the hot...(AP Photo/Noah Berger). FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2018 file photo, firefighters monitor a backfire while battling the Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire near Ladoga, Calif. The years with the most acres burned by wildfires have some of the hot...

    An AP analysis finds a clear connection between warmer temperatures out west and more land burned by wildfires.

    More >>

    An AP analysis finds a clear connection between warmer temperatures out west and more land burned by wildfires.

    More >>
  • 'Crazy Rich Asians' shines bright at the box office

    'Crazy Rich Asians' shines bright at the box office

    Sunday, August 19 2018 11:37 AM EDT2018-08-19 15:37:04 GMT
    Sunday, August 19 2018 11:22 PM EDT2018-08-20 03:22:57 GMT
    (Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP). This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Constance Wu in a scene from the film "Crazy Rich Asians."(Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP). This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Constance Wu in a scene from the film "Crazy Rich Asians."

    Glitz has won out over guns at the North American box office this weekend as the gilded romance "Crazy Rich Asians" took No. 1 over Mark Wahlberg's action-packed "Mile 22".

    More >>

    Glitz has won out over guns at the North American box office this weekend as the gilded romance "Crazy Rich Asians" took No. 1 over Mark Wahlberg's action-packed "Mile 22".

    More >>
  • US says conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative

    US says conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative

    Sunday, August 19 2018 7:26 AM EDT2018-08-19 11:26:45 GMT
    Sunday, August 19 2018 11:12 PM EDT2018-08-20 03:12:59 GMT
    The Trump administration says conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S. (Source: Pixabay)The Trump administration says conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S. (Source: Pixabay)

    The Trump administration says conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S.

    More >>

    The Trump administration says conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly