Imagine A $2,900 Water Bill; The Story Of A Poultry Farmer Impacted By Drought - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Imagine A $2,900 Water Bill; The Story Of A Poultry Farmer Impacted By Drought

Alabama Poultry Farmers Feel Drought's Affects In Wallet Alabama Poultry Farmers Feel Drought's Affects In Wallet

A $2,900 water bill just for the month of August. We can only imagine what the little chicks in Joe Murphy's chicken house thinks about it but there's no mistaking what Murphy has to say.

"I'm surprised," Murphy said.

Surprised but not shocked. Afterall, Murphy has been a chicken farmer for the last 9 years, and he's been in it long enough to know that it takes tons of water to keep his chickens cool, more than 22,000 chickens in just one of his 8 chicken houses.

"That's a lot of water. The big birds drink about 22,000 gallons a day," Murphy said.

Unlike his fellow crop producers the drought doesn't really impact the birds directly as long as there's plenty of water to keep them cool, but boy is Murphy paying a hefty price. That $2,900 water bill was just for August alone!

"We have to absorbed the cost," Murphy said.

Murphy can't pass on the high cost of his water bill because farmers like Murphy and buyers agree on a set price. In Alabama, poultry farmers are getting an average of 5 cents a pound, and producers typically try to grow a 5 pound bird. The poultry is big business in Alabama. The state ranks third behind Arkansas and Georgia.

"You gotta take the good with the bad," said Murphy.

Joe Murphy is 31 years old and says he's in it for the long haul, chickens and all along with those dreadful water bills.

Reporter: Bryan Henry

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