Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-787) 48 pp

November 2000

Structural Change in U.S. Chicken and Turkey Slaughter

Cost function analyses using data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census reveal substantial scale economies in chicken and turkey slaughter. These economies show no evidence of diminishing as plant size increases, are much greater than those realized in cattle and hog slaughter, and have resulted in a huge increase in plant size over the 1972-92 period. The findings also suggest that consolidation in the chicken and turkey slaughter industry is likely to continue, particularly if the growth in the demand for poultry diminishes.

Keywords: chicken slaughter, turkey slaughter, production costs, structural change

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