WASHINGTON – Poultry production in the United States began the New Year by continuing on an upward trend. Ready-to-cook weight for poultry during January totaled 3.87 billion lbs., up 5 percent from the amount certified in January 2014, the US Department of Agriculture said in its Poultry Slaughter report.

December 2014 registered a 9 percent jump in production, with a revised certified total of 3.88 billion lbs., was up 9 percent from December 2013. USDA said the December revision represented an increase of 1.67 million lbs. from January's preliminary pounds certified.

The preliminary total live weight of US poultry during January was 5.13 billion lbs., a 5 percent increase from 4.88 billion lbs. reported year ago. Pounds of young chickens inspected climbed 5 percent to total 4.43 billion lbs., while mature chickens, at 66.0 million lbs., declined 5 percent from the previous year, USDA reported.

Turkey inspections jumped 8 percent to total 615 million lbs., while ducks totaled 16.2 million lbs., up 10 percent from a year ago.

The average weight of young chickens slaughtered in January averaged 6.12 lbs. per bird, up 2 percent from January 2014, USDA said. The average live weight of mature chickens climbed 1 percent to 5.53 lbs. per bird.

Turkeys slaughtered during averaged 31.5 lbs. per bird, up 1 percent from January 2014.

For January, USDA reported ante-mortem condemnations totaled 12.5 million lbs. Condemnations were 0.24 percent of the live weight inspected, as compared with 0.24 percent a year ago. Post-mortem condemnations, at 41.4 million lbs., were 1.06 percent of quantities inspected, as compared with 1.01 percent a year earlier.