Chicken and turkey contributed to poultry processing expansion.

WASHINGTON – The US poultry processing industry has undergone tremendous growth in the last 25 years, almost doubling production since 1990, the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) said in its Livestock Overview report.

In 2015, federally inspected poultry production reached a record 46.3 billion lbs. Ready-to-cook chicken production last year climbed 4 percent to reach a record 40.6 billion lbs., while ready-to-cook duck production was a record 138 million lbs., an increase of 5 percent from 2014, USDA reported. Production of ready-to-cook geese, guineas, squab and other poultry climbed 15 percent to 2.41 million lbs.

Chicken and turkey both contributed to advances in poultry production, but chicken led the way, according to USDA. Since 1990, chicken production has increased by 113 percent. Since USDA began keeping records in 1960, chicken production has grown almost 900 percent.

Meanwhile, turkey has advanced 23 percent since 1990. Ready-to-cook turkey production slipped 2 percent in 2015 to 5.63 billion lbs., production has remained relatively steady over the last five years, USDA noted. And since 1960, turkey production has increased almost 500 percent.

Duck production has grown by 41 percent since 1990, according to the USDA report.

Total live weight of poultry slaughtered under federal inspection has increased 89 percent since 1990, while certified ready-to-cook poultry produced under federal inspection increased by 95 percent during the same period, USDA said.