WASHINGTON – For the month of March, poultry certified wholesome during (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.70 billion lbs., up 5% from the amount certified in March 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Totaling 3.21 billion lbs., the February 2010 revised certified poundage was up slightly from February 2009. The February revision represented an increase of 8.1 million lbs. from last month's preliminary pounds certified.

The preliminary total live weight of poultry inspected during March 2010 was 4.92 billion lbs., up 4% from 4.71 billion lbs. a year ago. Young chickens inspected totaled 4.22 billion lbs., up 5% from March 2009.

Mature chickens, at 69.6 million lbs., were up 2%from the previous


Turkey inspections totaled 613 million lbs., up 4% from a year ago. Ducks totaled 13.6 million lbs., up 2% from last year.

During March, young chickens slaughtered averaged 5.64 lbs. per bird, up 2% from March 2009. The average live weight of mature chickens was 5.46 lbs. per bird, down 6% from a year ago. Turkeys slaughtered during March averaged 29.6 lbs. per bird, up 1% from March 2009.

Ante-mortem condemnations during March totaled 12.0 million lbs. Condemnations were 0.24%of the live weight inspected, compared to 0.28% a year earlier. Totaling 38.5 million pounds, post-mortem condemnations were 1.03% of quantities inspected, as compared with 1.15% one year earlier.