The number of layer hens in the United States in June was down 9 percent when compared to the layer inventory of June 2014. Egg production in the United States also experienced a 9 percent year-over-year decline in June.

Both decreases affecting the egg industry were noted in the USDA’s Chicken and Eggs report, released on July 21.

The U.S. layer industry has been hit hard by the 2015 avian influenza outbreak, hitting commercial layer operations in Midwestern states including Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The virus has caused a major disruption to egg companies like Michael Foods, Center Fresh Group and Rembrandt Foods, while other companies, including Cal-Maine Foods, the largest egg producer in the United States, have not had any flocks infected.

According to the report, U.S. egg production totaled 7.41 billion eggs during June 2015, down from the 8.15 billion eggs reported in June 2014, and the 7.99 billion eggs produced in May. Production included 6.30 billion table eggs, and 1.11 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.03 billion were broiler-type and 78 million were egg-type.

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The total number of layers during June 2015 averaged 328 million, down from the average of 360 million recorded in June 2014 and 342 million recorded in May. 

Bookmark the WATTAgNet avian influenza update page for current news and analysis concerning the virus and its impact on the poultry industry.