The average number of table egg layers on hand grew significantly over the course of 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Chicken and Eggs 2012 Summary, released on February 27. 

The average number of table egg layers on hand in November 2012 was up 2.5 percent from November of 2011. The year-on-year spread grew from January, when there was only a 0.5 percent spread. The 2012 annual average production per layer on hand was estimated at 274 eggs, up 1 percent from the 271-egg average reported in 2011.

The broiler breeder layer inventory was lower each month of 2012 than in the corresponding month in 2011. The spread between the monthly average broiler breeder inventory in 2012 and the average in the corresponding month in 2011 has tightened throughout 2012. In January 2012, there were 8.6 percent fewer broiler breeders than in January 2011, but there were only 1.5 percent fewer broiler breeders in November 2012 than in November 2011. The boiler breeder inventory did not decline between October and November of 2012, breaking a string of five consecutive months with a decline.