Poultry Farming is the third largest industry in Alabama—grossing $15 billion a year. However, this colder than usual winter, is affecting business.
“It goes all throughout the state,” said Wayne Woodham, a farmer with Woodham Farms. “It goes into Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. We know those states will be affected about 50 percent.”
When temperatures drop, demand for propane skyrockets. It used to cost $6,000 to fill farmers’ propane tanks. Now, it costs $17,000.
“If we don't keep them [chickens] warm, they'll eat to stay warm, but they won't perform. They won't grow,” explained Jan Woodham, a farmer with Woodham Farms.
If they don't grow, they don't sell. Now, farmers are worried the poultry business might not profit.
“When that starts happening then the supply will go down. Of course, we all know with supply and demand what's going to happen. The chickens will go up then,” said Woodham.
This could ultimately affect consumers. We will see a shortage of chicken in restaurants and grocery stores—although farmers said it's too soon to tell just how much.