(WHTM) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has just released its 22-page Chicken and Egg report for March, summarizing the changes up or down between February 2022 and February 2023. Some of the statistics are good, and some are not so good. While the report doesn’t touch on the why, but it’s safe to say avian flu, and the need to euthanize flocks to prevent its spread is the major factor.

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In February of 2023, United States egg production totaled 8.23 billion. That’s down 5 percent from last year. That count includes 7.03 billion table eggs, and 1.19 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.10 billion were broiler-type and 94.0 million were egg-type. The average number of layers during February 2023 totaled 379 million, down 3 percent from last year.

February egg production per 100 layers was 2,171 eggs, down 2 percent from February 2022.

Total layers in the United States on March 1, 2023 totaled 382 million, down 3 percent from last year. The 382 million layers consisted of 313 million layers producing table or market-type eggs, 64.9 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs, and 4.01 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. The rate of lay per day on March 1, 2023, averaged 77.4 eggs per 100 layers, down 2 percent from March 1, 2022.

On the plus side, the number of egg-type chicks is up slightly. In February 2023, 52 million chicks hatched out, up slightly from February 2022. On the other hand, eggs in incubators
totaled 54.0 million on March 1, 2023 – and that’s down 6 percent from a year ago.

Pennsylvania showed a severe drop in chicken numbers. In February 2022 we had 27,175,000 chickens laying table eggs; by February of this year, it was down to 22,756,000. If you add in the hatching eggs, it’s even worse. In February of 2022 we had 30,001,000 chickens laying eggs, but this year we’re down to 25,950,000.

If you want to do a deep dive into the statistics, you can read the whole report here.

With the number of chickens down, it’s not surprising the number of eggs is down as well. In February 2022 we produced 803.6 million eggs, but this February we produced only 663.2 million.