Meat & Livestock News

Broiler Chick Numbers Tick Up, Egg Sets Dip a Bit, Says USDA

Brown chickens, hens in farm.

So, here’s the latest scoop from the USDA: There’s a bit of a shuffle happening in the broiler chicken world. Last week, the number of broiler chicks being prepped for meat production hit 190.988 million. That’s a nudge up from last year by 1%. These little cluckers are set to be ready for the market in early 2024.

But hold on, it’s not all about the chicks. The egg side of things tells a different story. The count of broiler-type eggs tucked into incubators was a smidge lower than last week and also down from last year’s numbers. We’re talking 239.856 million eggs, with these future broilers aiming to hit the production line in the latter half of January. And if you’re wondering about hatchability, it’s hovering around the 80% mark.

Mark your calendars for January 12th – that’s when the USDA is dropping its next set of annual broiler production projections.

Now, let’s take a quick tour around the states:

  • Over in Arkansas, egg sets saw a tiny uptick to 24.569 million from 24.531 million a week ago. Chick placements? They’re up too, from 21.106 million to 21.583 million.
  • Kentucky’s story is a bit different. Egg sets dipped to 6.936 million from 6.799 million a week ago, and chick placements also saw a slight drop.
  • Missouri’s egg sets dropped to 8.585 million from 8.746 million, but hey, their chick placements went up.
  • Then there’s California, Tennessee, and West Virginia. All three saw increases in both egg sets and chick placements.

So, what’s the takeaway? The broiler chicken biz in the U.S. is a mixed bag, with different states showing different trends. Stay tuned for the USDA’s upcoming report for the full picture.