House of Raeford Farms announced recently that it will focus its resources on increasing chicken production volumes and expanding its fully cooked turkey and chicken product lines over the next two to three years.  The company’s commodity turkey growing and slaughter operations in eastern North Carolina will be phased out, resulting in closure of its Rose Hill, North Carolina turkey hatchery; Raeford, North Carolina turkey slaughter plant; and turkey growing operations in eastern North Carolina over the next four to six months.

The company will continue to operate its Raeford, North Carolina cook plant and will expand its production of fresh ready-to-cook chicken; tray pack ground turkey and chicken; battered and breaded nuggets and patties; and fully cooked turkey and chicken products.

“The effect of high corn prices caused by government ethanol mandates had driven feed costs higher.  The turkey industry has experienced multiple years of flat to declining per capita turkey consumption, yet forecasts predict production volume increases over the next two years.  These factors, combined with rapidly falling commodity turkey prices and historic and projected losses, contributed to the company’s decision,”  House of Raeford said in a press release.

By contrast the company’s chicken business, which now represents over 90 percent of sales, has grown considerably.  “We intend to further expand the chicken business over the next two to three years so that our increased chicken volume will replace the turkey production we are phasing out,” said Bob Johnson, CEO of House of Raeford.