HPAI hits U.S. egg production

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza had an impact on chicken egg production in 2022.

The USDA says the number of table and hatching egg layers last year averaged 379.304 million head, 3% less than 2021, with the largest decline in Iowa, the top chicken egg laying state, partially due to depopulation caused by HPAI.

The total U.S. chicken inventory, excluding commercial broilers, was 513 million head, 2% under the year before.

As the number of layers and chickens fell, U.S. egg production was down 2% on the year at 109.514 billion as a 2% decrease in table eggs canceled out a 2% increase in hatching eggs as producers attempted to rebuild their flocks.

That year-to-year drop in egg production and general inflation pushed U.S. egg prices to record levels in late 2022.

Efficiency did improve with the average production per layer 289 eggs per chicken, 1% higher.

The value of all chickens on December 1st, 2022 was $3.46 billion, 18% more than on December 1st, 2021, with an average of $6.74 per bird, $1.18 above the year before.

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