There’s a rise in turkey numbers despite HPAI outbreaks

Despite High Path Avian Flu sticking around, last month saw a bump in turkey numbers. However, analysts say those highs could only be temporary.

USDA shows 21.34 million poults were hatched in April, while 20.2 million were placed into meat production. Both are down from March, but up a percent from last year. 25.5 million eggs were placed in incubation on May 1st, which is a 3 percent drop on the month, and down 8 percent on the year. The drop was partially thanks to industry concerns around demand and profitability, but USDA’s Outlook Board says there could be good news on the horizon.

“But for 2025, again looking into next year, we’re anticipating, you know, maybe some demand growth coming back, and turkey prices are forecasted $1.05 per pound. That would be up about $0.97 year over year,” said Mark Jekanowski.

Also in the poultry sector, chicken numbers are pointing up. 244.77 million eggs went into incubation last week, which is down from the week before but up on the year. Hatchability is holding at 79 percent. 189.89 million broiler chicks were placed into meat production, which is also lower than the previous week but 2 percent above last year. Arkansas saw the largest numbers, with 25.86 million eggs placed, slightly above last week.

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