WASHINGTON — During December, poultry certified wholesome (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.45 billion lbs., down 1% from the amount certified in December 2008, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Totaling 3.31 billion lbs., the November 2009 revised certified total was up 3% from November 2008. The November revision represented an increase of 22.1 million lbs. from last month's preliminary pounds certified.

During December, the preliminary total live weight of poultry inspected was 4.6 billion lbs., down 1% from 4.64 billion lbs. one year ago. Young chickens inspected totaled 3.95 billion lbs., up slightly from December 2008. Mature chickens, at 61.3 million lbs., were down 4% from the previous year.

Turkey inspections totaled 572 million lbs., down 8% from a year ago while ducks totaled 14.4 million lbs., down 2% from last year.

Young chickens slaughtered during December averaged 5.65 lbs. per bird, up 2% from December 2008. The average live weight of mature chickens was 5.49 lbs. per bird, down 1% from a year ago. During December, turkeys slaughtered averaged 29.6 lbs. per bird, up slightly from December 2008.

Ante-mortem condemnations during December 2009 totaled 12.5 million lbs. Condemnations were 0.27% of the live weight inspected, as compared with 0.31% one year earlier. Post-mortem condemnations, at 34.2 million lbs., were 0.98% of quantities inspected, as compared with 1.17% one year earlier.