Egg Industry News and Commentary

  —  Apr 5

Weekly Turkey Production and Prices


The March 16th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 29.3 million eggs in incubators on March 1st 2017, up 6 percent from March 1st 2016. A total of 23.9 million poults were hatched in February 2017, up 9 percent from February 2016. A total of 22.6 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in December 2016, up 6 percent from February 2016. The relative hatch and placement values suggest disposal of 1.3 million hen poults or 5.4 percent of hatch. Poult placements through February 2017 have attained 49.3 million.


The March 31st edition of the USDA Turkey Market News Report (Vol 64, No. 13) confirmed the following provisional data for turkeys slaughtered under Federal inspection:-

  • For the processing week ending March 25th 1.585 million young hens were slaughtered at a live weight of 8.3 kg or 18.3 lbs. (8.1 kg last week). During the corresponding week in 2016, 1.784 million hens were processed. Ready-to-cook hen weight for the week attained 9,818 metric tons, 17.6 percent less than the corresponding week of 2016. Dressing percentage was 80.5. Year-to-date RTC hen production has attained 123,265 metric tons, 9.6 percent less than YTD 2016.
  • For the processing week ending March 25th 2.467 million toms were slaughtered at 18.5 kg or 40.8 lbs. (19.4 kg last week) compared to 2.516 million toms during the previous processing week. For the corresponding week in 2016, 1,877 million toms were processed. Ready-to-cook tom weight for the past week attained 36,785 metric tons, 29.3 percent more than in the corresponding week of 2016.  Dressing percentage was 80.5.Year-to-date RTC tom production has attained 451,374 metric tons, 5.8 percent more than YTD 2016.
  • The National average frozen hen price during the past week was $2.21 per kg, 12 cents/kg below the three-year average.

  • The following prices were documented for domestic and export trading:-


$ per kg

Change from previous Week (%)

Frozen hens


                     Down   1.3

Frozen toms


                         Down   1.8

Fresh hens


                         Up        0.8 

Fresh toms



Breasts 1.8-3.6 kg


                         Dup     7.0

Breasts (B/S) tom


                 No new quotation   

Drums (toms for export)


                     Down   1.9

Wings (V-cut tom)


                     Down  18.0

Wings (V-cut hens)


                         Down   4.5    

Thigh Meat (frozen for export)


                         Up        6.2

Mechanically Separated (export)


                   No new quotation



On March 27th 2017 cold storage holdings at selected centers amounted to 65,027 metric tons up 8.2 percent from an inventory of 60,096 metric tons on March 1st 2017.

The March 22rd 2017 edition of the USDA Cold Storage Report issued monthly, documented a total turkey stock of 172,032 metric tons on February 28th 2017, up 11.0 percent compared to February 29th 2016 inventory, and 11.6 percent above January 31st 2017. The Whole Turkey category representing 41.0 percent of total storage amounted to 70,550 metric tons, up 4.3 percent from February 29th 2016.

Please review comments on prospects for exports as outlined in the weekly Broiler Report in this edition. This follows isolation of H5 LPAI from flocks on a farm holding two ages of growing turkeys in Tennessee. In addition two now-depleted flock of broiler breeders in an adjoining county yielded a North American lineage H7N9 HPAI strain. Isolates characterized as LP H7N9 AI have been identified through serological and PCR surveillance in South-central Tennessee and contiguous North-central Alabama and a single case in northwest Georgia.