About 1.7 million chickens have been killed in flooding from Florence as rising North Carolina rivers swamped at least 60 farm buildings where the animals were being raised for market, according to a major poultry producer.
Sanderson Farms said Tuesday the losses occurred at independent farms that supply its poultry processing plants. The company said its facilities suffered no major damage, but supply disruptions and flooded roadways had caused shutdowns at some plants.
In addition, about 30 farms near Lumberton have been isolated by flood waters, hampering the delivery of feed to animals. The lack of food could cause additional birds to die if access isn't restored quickly, the company said.
The N.C. Pork Council says some hogs also may have died when farms flooded, but that mortality figures are not yet available. The pork industry trade group says farmers have been working before and after the storm to move at-risk animals to higher ground. The industry lost about 2,800 hogs during flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
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