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Butterball mystery: Turkeys wouldn't fatten up

Butterball turkey
Posted at 5:55 AM, Nov 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-20 01:01:21-05

NEW YORK, NY (AP) - The Butterball company says it doesn't know why not enough turkeys were able to fatten up in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.  

CEO Rod Brenneman says it's never happened before, and the company is investigating what went wrong. But he notes, turkeys are "biological creatures" subject to a variety of factors.

Butterball announced last week that it would have a limited supply of large, fresh turkeys 16 pounds or heavier for the holidays.

Like many other turkey producers, Butterball feeds its birds antibiotics, which have been the subject of concern that they could lead to antibiotic-resistant germs.

Butterball won't say whether it made any changes to its feed this year. But the problem seems to have come up rather recently.