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Aviagen brings new poultry breeding business to Longview

Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 12:26 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 10:48 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The Longview Economic Development Corporation has announced another business will soon be locating in Longview. Aviagen is planning on building a chicken hatchery in south Longview, but these birds are not bred for eating; they are bred for breeding. They are still little yellow chicks when they fly the coop.

LEDCO CEO Wayne Mansfield said Aviagen is a very high-tech agri-business.

“[It is] not what you would first perceive as a poultry operation. This, in essence, is a high-tech genetic lab,” Mansfield said.

He took a look at an Aviagen video posted on YouTube which showed a hatchery like the one they plan on building in Longview.

“The company will bring in the eggs, incubate them, hatch them, and as soon as they’re a day old, they are shipped out,” Mansfield said.

Mansfield said the chicks are sold as breeders so there will be no slaughtering at the facility. The chicks are sold:

THE LECO CEO said the chicks are sold “pretty much all over the world; large markets in the Middle East and Asia and South America.”

Once the hatchery is in operation, they will hire and train about 70 people, Mansfield said.

“I would imagine, too, a lot of our labor skill set in this area, being a rural region, probably has some familiarity with raising livestock, raising poultry,” Mansfield said. “But this will take it up a few steps.”

However, he says employees won’t be allowed to own or be around other birds.

“Simply as a way of mitigating potential harm from avian diseases that somebody may bring in to the shop,” Mansfield said.

He said Aviagen been at this a while.

“This is their ninth facility. Their most recent one is in Quitman County, Georgia,” Mansfield said.

This one will be built next to Neiman Marcus in South Longview, not far from I-20. And yes, most of us have smelled a chicken facility, but Mansfield said they only deal with live birds in the hatchery.

“Their mortality rate is measured in just decimals,” Mansfield said.

You know the “which came first” question is just hanging there.

“First comes building the building, and then we can get into the answer of whether it’s the chicken or the egg,” Mansfield said.

Well, I don’t want to ruffle any feathers here.

According to a press release, Longview is strategically placed with quick access to Dallas and Houston airports to transport the chicks. They are hoping the facility will be complete in July of 2022.

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