Nationwide outbreaks of avian flu are disrupting chicken flocks and causing the price of eggs to rise sharply.
Large outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been reported in several states. More than 6 million chickens had to be destroyed in Iowa and 3 million in a single flock in Jefferson County, Wisc. Outbreaks were detected in 16 other states. Egg prices have risen sharply in March, which was attributed partly to the avian flu outbreaks.
The last major outbreak of HPAI was in 2014-15, resulting in destruction of about 12% of the U.S. laying hen population. The current outbreak is not expected to be as severe due to mitigation measures among commercial layers that were not in place in 2014.