The average number of layer hens on hand reached 347 million in March, showing a trend of continued growth. The inventory had previously reached its highest point over the past year in February, with nearly 345 million layers on hand.

The layer numbers during March 2012 were recorded at 340.5 million, according to the USDA's Chicken and Eggs report, released on April 22.

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March egg production also increased two percent from the same month in 2012, according to the report.  Production included 6.99 billion table eggs, and 1.08 billion hatching eggs, of which 1 billion were broiler-type and 79 million were egg-type.