The chief of US poultry group Pilgrim's Pride Corp. is in a critical condition in hospital after suffering a massive stroke over the weekend.

O.B. Goolsby Jr., the company's president and CEO, fell ill on Saturday morning while on a hunting trip with customers in Texas.

The 60-year-old was flown to a hospital in San Antonio, where he is in a critical condition in intensive care, Pilgrim's Pride said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with O.B. and his family during this very difficult period," said Bo Pilgrim, senior chairman and co-founder of Pilgrim's Pride. "O.B. has always been a man of great strength and faith, and we are confident that the hospital medical team is providing the best possible care for him."

Goolsby joined the company in 1969 and has served as its president and CEO for three years.