This is the most common type of poultry farm. Based upon the desired bird size, this farm produces a 2.5 lb. to 8 lb. bird in 4 to 8 weeks which is processed for various types of retail sale to consumers, grocery stores or fast food chains as whole birds, cut-up breast, wings, thigh, drumsticks, deboned breast meat, or further processed pieces. Poultry companies such as Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride, George’s, Simmons, OK Foods, and others, provide the delivery of baby chicks and feed, medication, management assistance, catching and hauling to the processing plant, weighing and processing of the birds, and payment to an individual growers farm. The poultry grower provides the housing and equipment, labor, utilities, real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, clean-out of poultry waste (litter) or treatment of poultry litter, laying down new wood shavings or rice hulls for the next flock (batch) and dead bird disposal.
The grower is paid per pound of accepted meat to the plant. This pay is based upon an average pay per pound. All poultry growers selling within a time period, (usually a week), are averaged for cost per pound of meat delivered to the processing plant. This cost consists of baby chick cost, feed cost, medication cost, etc. Growers with better than average cost per pound are paid on an increasing pay scale. Growers with worse than average cost per pound are paid on a decreasing pay scale. Growers with average cost per pound are paid the contracted price per pound (typically $0.0515 to $0.065cents per pound).
Based upon the size bird for the contract, the grower sells from 4 to 10 flocks per year, with an average being 5.5 flocks. They are also typically paid some type of fuel allowance for 2 winter flocks to help with the extra heating costs.