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on October 13, 2016

Precautions reduced House of Raeford’s flood losses

Chickens from farms hit by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 were moved to empty farms at safer locations

House of Raeford Farms suffered at least partial flock losses at two contract farms to Hurricane Matthew floods, but preventative measures helped the company reduce its overall bird losses.

According to Dave Witter, House of Raeford Farms’ manager of corporate sustainability and communications, the company was able to move 200,000 birds from farms that were flooded during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

Birds at those at-risk farms were moved to empty farms at safer locations.

“This was a major factor in keeping our birds safe and avoiding a much higher mortality,” Witter said in an email.

Processing plant disruptions

Three poultry processing plants in Eastern South Carolina and North Carolina were down for a couple of days, mainly due to power outages, Witter said. However, all three of those plants were back in operation on October 13.

Other poultry losses

North Carolina officials had earlier stated that as many as 5 million birds were lost in floods, although only 1.8 million birds were officially confirmed to have been killed. Sanderson Farms reported that it lost about 250,000 chickens, while Perdue Farms was still assessing the damage. Tyson Foods reported that bird losses were minimal.

House of Raeford Farms was mostly spared when flooding hit South Carolina in October 2015. At that time, there was no reported damage and the only problems the company experienced during that time was road conditions, which made it more difficult for some employees to get to work.

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