March egg production mixed

U.S. egg production numbers were mixed during March.

The USDA says total egg production rose 1% to 9.29 billion, with a lower number of laying hens canceled out by an improved rate of lay. Part of the reason for the decline in hens was the discovery of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in some flocks, leading to de-population.

There were 56.5 million egg-type chicks hatched, 4% lower than last year, with placements for future hatchery supply flocks by breeders down 1%, which implies lower egg production, but that will also depend on efficiency.

854 million broiler-type chicks were hatched, 1% higher, with placements for future production up 5% on the year.

The USDA’s updated annual broiler and egg production projections are out May 10th.

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