Branstad declares state of emergency over avian flu

The continued spread of avian flu among commercial poultry operations in Iowa has prompted Governor Terry Branstad to declare a state of emergency. Branstad says the proclamation will allow state agencies to better utilize resources to help respond to the outbreaks.  It also authorizes the state Department of Transportation and other agencies to plan travel… Read more »

Four more avian flu cases in Iowa

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced Friday that it is responding to four more probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry farms in Sac, Pocahontas, Cherokee and Madison counties. The cases in Sac, Pocahontas and Cherokee counties all involve turkey farms.  Estimates on the number of birds at those… Read more »

Officials hope warmer weather will slow avian flu

State and federal officials are hoping warmer weather will help slow the spread of the avian influenza virus that has infected dozens of turkey and egg farms in the Midwest. “In general, as we see the wild waterfowl moving north and temperatures warming up on the U.S. landscape, we expect to see a decrease in… Read more »

Dealing with the aftermath of the avian flu outbreak

There were close to four million hens in the northwest Iowa egg-laying operation that was hit with the avian influenza this week.  Those birds have to be euthanized and disposed of which is, according to USDA chief veterinarian Dr. John Clifford, a huge and costly undertaking. “It’s a large volume of birds and you have… Read more »

March U.S. egg production up 1%

The USDA reports U.S. egg production during March 2015 was 8.53 billion eggs, up 1% from the March 2014 total. Most of the total was table eggs, 7.42 billion, with hatching eggs at 1.12 billion. Most of the hatching eggs, 1.03 billion, were for broiler type chickens, with the rest for egg type production. The… Read more »

Egg industry on high alert after Iowa outbreak

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The discovery of bird flu in a large Iowa egg laying facility has that industry on high alert. The farm in Osceola County in northwest Iowa has a capacity of 5.3 million hens, which represents nearly 10 percent of Iowa’s egg-laying hens and one percent of the nation’s egg layers. While those numbers are significant,… Read more »

Bird flu confirmed in Iowa egg laying facility

An outbreak of the avian flu virus has been confirmed in a commercial egg laying facility in Osceola County in extreme northwest Iowa. According to a news release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Osceola County facility has 5.3 million hens. It’s the second case of the avian flu reported in… Read more »

Hilton announces changes to food supply chain

One of the world’s largest hotel chains is eliminating the use of cages for egg laying chickens and gestation stalls used in swine production from its global food supply chain.  Hilton Worldwide made the announcement in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States earlier today. The changes would apply to all hotels in… Read more »

Egg prices skyrocketing in California

When California voters passed an initiative in 2008 to require the state’s poultry farmers to house hens in significantly larger cages, the California legislature realized it would put the state’s farmers at a disadvantage.  In 2010, it required that eggs imported from other states come from farms meeting the same cage requirements. That went into… Read more »

Iowa egg farm fire kills 150,000 hens

A Sunday evening fire at an egg farm in northern Iowa has killed 150-thousand hens.  No farm employees were injured.  The fire at the Centrum Valley Farms’ operation in Galt began in a barn where 75-thousand hens were housed.  Smoke from the fire also killed 75-thousand hens in an adjacent barn.  As of Monday afternoon,… Read more »