University of California Poultry Memo, Number 82, covering 2009 through August, has been circulated by Don Bell, poultry specialist emeritus, University of California-Riverside.

The following key values were presented:

  • 155 million pullet chicks have been hatched to date representing a 2.6% decline over the corresponding period in 2008. 
  • The 24-month previous hatch through August 2009 amounted to 459 million pullets, representing an increase of 8.3 million pullets over the 24-month cumulative hatch through August 2008. It is noted that this parameter is correlated strongly to the Urner-Barry (U-B) Midwest egg price. 
  • The average monthly transfer of pullets to layer houses is projected to attain 16.4 million for 2009 representing a 1.7% increase over the corresponding value for 2008. 
  • As of August 2009 the producing flock comprised 276.6 million hens. The average flock size to date is 280.3 million hens, relatively unchanged compared to the first eight months of 2008. 
  • Total egg production through the first eight months of 2009 amounted to 51.343 billion eggs a 0.9% increase over the first eight months of 2008. Pullet transfers, hen numbers and egg production data suggest restraint in expansion consistent with U-B egg prices prevailing in 2009. 
  • An average of 24.4% of the national flock has been molted, relatively unchanged from 2008 but an approximately 12% reduction from 2007. This has resulted in a decrease in weighted average flock age. 
  • 44 million hens were depleted through August 2008, representing a 9% decrease over 2008 but a 13% reduction from the corresponding eight month period in 2007. 
  • 44.4 million cases were consigned to breakers or processed in in-line units during the first eight months of 2009, a 2.2% reduction over January–August 2008. Approximately 31% of total U.S. domestic consumption is now further-processed.
  • The nine-month average U-B Midwest, Large price is 101 cents/dozen. This is a 32% decrease over the nine-month average of 2008. The months of May–September were below 100 cents per dozen offsetting the higher revenues through the first 4 months of this year. 
  • Average U-B Midwest breaker egg price for the first 9-months of 2009 was 42.6 cents/dozen, a 45% decrease from the 87.8 cents/dozen in 2008. Unit revenue for breaking eggs has declined as a proportion of production cost and is now close to 64% of calculated nest-run production cost. It is noted that breaker egg prices peaked at 114 cents/dozen in March 2008 with a prevailing U-B price of 165.6 cents per dozen. 
  • Nine-month average production cost in 2009 is 59 cents/dozen, ranging from a high of 63.7 cents/dozen in June to a low of 57 cents/dozen in September. The approximately 9% reduction in production cost over the 68 cents/dozen recorded in 2008 is attributed to lower ingredient costs. Production costs peaked in June and July of 2008 at 73 cents/dozen.