WASHINGTON – During March, US poultry certified wholesome (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.86 billion lbs., up 4% from the amount certified in March 2010, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Agricultural Statistics Board, US Department of Agriculture. Totaling 3.34 billion lbs., the February revised certified, was up 4% from February 2010. The February revision represented an increase of 3.5 million lbs. from last month's preliminary pounds certified.

The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during March 2011 was 5.11 billion lbs., an increase of 4% from 4.92 billion lbs. one year ago. Young chickens inspected totaled 4.39 billion lbs., up 4% from March 2010. Totaling 72.9 million lbs., mature chickens were up 5% from the previous year. Turkey inspections totaled 631 million lbs., up 3% from a year ago. Ducks totaled 14.7 million lbs., up 8% from last year.

During March, young chickens slaughtered averaged 5.75 lbs. per bird, up 2% from March 2010. The average live weight of mature chickens was 5.62 lbs. per bird, up 3% from a year ago. Turkeys slaughtered during March 2011 averaged 29.8 lbs. per bird, up 1% from March 2010.

Ante-mortem condemnations during March totaled 11.5 million lbs. Condemnations were 0.22% of the live weight inspected compared to 0.24% one year earlier. Totaling 39.4 million lbs., post-mortem condemnations were 1.01% of quantities inspected compared to 1.03% one year earlier.