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December egg production up on year

U.S. egg production was up in December, with numbers pointing towards short term growth in table egg supplies and tighter broiler chicken numbers.

The USDA says 9.54 billion eggs were produced during December 2023, up 3% from December 2022, including more than 8 billion market and table eggs and 1.3 billion hatching eggs.

From those hatching eggs, broiler type chicks were 849 million head, a decline of 1% on the year, with the number of chicks in incubators slightly below a year ago.

December 2023 placements by breeders of broiler type chicks for future hatchery supplies fell 4%, implying tighter supplies later this year.

Egg type chicks hatched were 48.4 million head, down 3%, even as the number of eggs in incubation was up 3%.

Breeders placed 219,000 egg type pullets for future hatchery supplies, an increase of 1% on the year.

The number of laying hens in the U.S. on January 1st, 2024 was 379 million head, 1% higher, most of those laying for market and table eggs, with the rate of lay rising 2%.

The USDA’s next round of annual broiler and egg production estimates is out February 8th.

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