This yr’s outbreaks of extremely pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) are hitting egg-laying flocks the toughest, as they did in 2014 and 2015.
Laying hens account for two-thirds of this yr’s toll, which greater than doubled to 7.65 million birds over the weekend, stated the USDA on Monday.
The primary outbreak of HPAI in Wisconsin since 2015 was this yr’s largest — 3 million laying hens on a farm in Jefferson County, roughly halfway between Milwaukee and Madison, the state capital.
Amongst seven outbreaks reported over the weekend have been a flock of 915,925 laying hens in Taylor County, Iowa — close to the Missouri border — and a flock of 664,061 hens in Cecil County, Maryland, within the state’s northeastern nook.
Iowa, the No. 1 state for eggs, produces certainly one of each seven eggs nationwide, adopted by Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
“Excessive path” hen flu, a contagious viral illness, can shortly wipe out a flock, so agricultural officers ruthlessly cull contaminated flocks in hopes of stopping the illness from spreading. “Producers are inspired to maneuver their birds indoors when potential to forestall contact with wild birds and their droppings,” stated Wisconsin state officers.
HPAI may be unfold by migratory waterfowl and likewise by contact with contaminated poultry, contaminated autos, and gear that transfer between farms and farmworkers’ clothes. Wild birds are seemingly unaffected by HPAI. The virus just isn’t thought of a threat to individuals.
Greater than 50 million chickens and turkeys died within the 2014-15 epidemic. The losses included 12% of the hens laying eggs for desk consumption and eight% of turkeys being raised nationwide, in accordance with a 2017 USDA report. “In response to this historic animal-disease occasion, many vacation spot markets for U.S. poultry commodities levied commerce restrictions on U.S. poultry exports, distorting markets and exacerbating financial losses.”
Practically 5.1 million laying hens have died from HPAI or in eradication efforts this yr, a small a part of the 389 million or so laying hens within the nation. Nationwide, the hens produced 111 billion eggs, or 285 eggs apiece, in 2021, in accordance with USDA’s Chickens and Eggs annual report.
Moreover the three outbreaks in laying flocks, the USDA additionally confirmed HPAI in 36,000 turkeys on a farm in Charles Combine County, South Dakota, and in yard flocks in Kansas, Illinois, and Maine over the weekend.
For the reason that first outbreak was confirmed in U.S. home flocks on February 8, the biggest losses have been in Wisconsin, adopted by Delaware with 1.4 million birds, Maryland with 1.3 million, and Iowa with 965,741 birds. Fifteen states have seen outbreaks.
The USDA checklist of outbreaks is accessible right here.
Supply: Successful Farming