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Chick-News.com Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Percentage of U.S. Flocks Molted

12/04/2011
Dec 4, 2011

Don Bel, Poultry Specialist Emeritus of the University California, Riverside has questioned the  accuracy of the October 2011USDA value of 23.3% posted for the number of flocks in the second cycle of production.

According to Bell a typical molt program extends for 70 weeks to 105 weeks at which time the flock is sold.  The 35 week duration of the second cycle represents 41% of the 85 weeks of production from a nominal 21 weeks through 105 weeks.  It is assumed that 60% of flocks are molted and 21.7% of hens are in a second post-molt cycle at any time.

This calculation does not take in to account the non-producing inter-cycle period of approximately 3 weeks.  If molt is initiated at 70 weeks and flocks are depleted at 105 weeks the second production cycle is 33 weeks in duration or 39% of the entire production period extending from 20 week to 105 weeks.  The assumption that 60% of flocks are molted is always speculative and it subject to considerable differences according to region.  The October 2011 value of 24% posted by USDA incorporates a molt value of 42% for the Northwest region but only 7.1% for the Northeast.  Accordingly the assumption that 60% of flocks are molted is generous in the light of current practice as driven by feed cost and the supply-demand relationship. 


 
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