WASHINGTON – Ready-to-cook weight chicken during December totaled 3.56 billion lbs., up 6 percent from the amount certified a year ago, the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported.

NASS revised the November 2013 certified total to 3.49 billion lbs., down 2 percent from a year ago. The November revision represented an increase of 1.6 million lbs. from last month's preliminary pounds certified, the agency said.

The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry for December increased 7 percent to 4.71 billion lbs. compared to 4.42 billion lbs. a year ago. Young chickens inspected advanced 8 percent to 4.11 billion lbs. Mature chickens totaled 63.5 million lbs., up 7 percent from the previous year. Turkey inspections declined 4 percent to 529 million lbs., while ducks totaled 15.8 million lbs., up 9 percent from a year ago, according to NASS.

Young chickens slaughtered for the month averaged 5.99 lbs. per bird, up 1 percent from December 2012. The average live weight of mature chickens climbed 7 percent to 5.43 lbs. Turkeys slaughtered for meat production during December averaged 30.7 lbs. per bird, down slightly from December 2012, NASS said.

Ante-mortem condemnations during December totaled 11.0 million lbs., NASS reported. Condemnations were 0.23 percent of the live weight inspected, as compared to 0.21 percent a year ago. Post-mortem condemnations were 1.00 percent of quantities inspected as compared to 0.95 percent a year ago. Post-mortem condemnations during December totaled 36.1 million lbs., according to the agency.