UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
PES-23 NOVEMBER 7, 1938
E PY AD EG -------------------------------S I T--T I O-----
THE POULTRY AND EGG SI TUAT I ON
(AVERAGE OF CORRESPONDING PERIODS. 1925-34 1001
I PERCENT I
O FEED-EGG RATIO p RECEIPT
160 AT NE
a 1/937 40
--A'0-- 120 ,
S... ..I ... ....I.. I.... ... 1
JAN APR JULY OCT. DEC.
U. DEPAIIITMENT OF AGRICULTUHI
JAN APR. JULY OCT DEC.
MiES 46423 UREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
3ecat developments in the poultry and egg situation, says the Bureau
of AgricltUrial Botnomics, include (1) cenuinued 4ncreaqe In narketings of
dressed poultry, (2) a large increase in the number of .layers per flock,
(3) a gr3ater-thai,-sj sonal decline in the farm piice of chickens, and (4) a
less-thau-usual ajivance in egg prices.
The increased latch .-.. yVLar is beLng reflected in several ways.
Receipts of droEsed 'uulL t i 2w York u'iring Octooer were 6 percent greater
than in October li-r yr anjd 20 prccat greater than the 1925-34 average for
the month. Th, into- torasje mnverent of Iresned poultry aleo is larger than
usual. The n iaber of laying nuns in Iarm- flock on October 1 was 10 percent
gruster than the numocr on &eotem'-er 1. This compares with a 7-percent increase
during this p3rial last Near.
The average farm price of chickens iri Octoter was 4.9 percent lower
than in September as co.iparpd with a usual seasonal decline of ?.0 percent.
The fact thaEt cgg prices i., Octo:er we:-e orly 9 percent over the
Soptamber price aq conparad with a lu-pcreort risr 1ist year, may, bo attributed
to increased muricntir-fs and. dacreas2a corz-uption because cf mild weather.
The following ca.e oriae ur to d.nte th'- tables
issue of the Puultry ra Sa g Sditurtion report.
given in the October
Receipts of dres
at Njw York
at P6 markets
Receipts of eggs
:r.it :Oct. 1 :Oct.
ratio as : Far-:
19?5-34 av. 19 7: cent: 141.0 1-2.8
19:8: : 1l.7 g3.7
sed poUltry :1,000:
av. 1525-34 lb.: 3,963 4,156
1317: : 3,8753 4,.q3
193l : : 4,734 5,265
of dressed poultry
av. q25-3'-: :36,476 38,077
,"- ti" :44,285 46,080
15 8: :42,394 44,877
at New York :1,000:
:Cct. 15:Oct. 22:0ct. 29
av. 1925-04:cases: 95.6 95.1 '7.-4 81.8 80.2
1937: : 96.2 89.3 39.3 78.2 74.2
S- 1933: : 79.6 83}. 84.0 77.0 67.8
: Saptember : October
;Unit : Av. V--7--,,37 1938
:l,2r-34: .:- 1"25-34 _9 :
Farm price of chickens,15th of mo.;Cants: 17.3 17.4 14.3 g 17.6 13.6
Farm price of turkoys ............: : ---- -- 20.8 16.7 16.5
Av. no. layia.g hens in farm flocks:
1st day of the month ...........: No. : 66.1 59.9 59.8 70.4 64.3 65.6
Eggs laid per 10C hens and :
pullets 1st day of the month ....: : 32.4 36.1 35.3 25.0 28.8 28.2
Farm price of eggs on 15th of mo. :Cents: 2_.7_ 22. g4.2 30.0 25.2 27.1 1
THE ANTAL OUTLOOK REPORT IS ATrACHED.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
November 7, A.M.
THE OUTLOOK FOR POULTRY AND EGGS (INCLUDING TURKEYS) FOR 1939
After considering all important elements in the poultry, egg, and
turkey outlook for next year, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics ex-
The feed-egg ratio to remain at favorable levels from the poultry
producer's viewpoint at least until the harvest of the 1939 feed crop
provided there are no important changes in the farm program;
Hatchings during 1939, therefore, to be still larger than the re-
latively large hatch of 1938, and probably as large as in any former
Poultry marketing in 1939 to exceed those of 1938; during the
first half because of the heavy 1938 hatch; and during the last half
because of the expected further increase in the 1939 hatch;
Fall and winter broilers 193Z-39 production to be heavier than
during the past season. For this reason the situation is likely to be
less favorable to producers;
Poultry storage stocks in early 1939 to be larCer than in 1938,
and the into-storage movement of poultry in late 1939 to exceed that of
1938 because of the heavier marketing;
Turkey production during 1938 to be nearly 4 percent greater than
in 1937. A further increase in 1939 is expected;
Turkey situation in the fall of 1938 to be as favorable to producers
as in 1937;
Chicken marketing situation to be less favorable in the fall of
1938 than last year because of the larger marketing. In the spring of
1939 increased consumer incomes will help to offset the effect of the
expected larger marketing. The situation in the fall of 1939, with the
expected heavier marketing, will depend largely on the level of con-
Laying-flQck size in 1939 to be about 10 percent larger than dur-
Total egg production to be above 1938 because of increasing
numbers of layers and a favorable feed-egg ratio;
Egg marketing in 1939, therefore, to be heavier than in 1938;
Egg storage stocks accumulated during 1939 to be larger than in
F:Ulry and IEgg Otlook
Sgg sig a:tir. to remain favra"le to producers for the remainler
of 1-.8 tecGzse 3f :the l sore li s. 2nring the first half of
1.7 -he ag- sitnuatiln wil prC.a=-ty re-an- favorable to producers be-
ca of feed situaatirn ad the favorable outcome af the 1953 storage
deal. The sitraion for the Last half tf 1=7= is likely to be less
faTarable than 1333.
he feed sitnatio"
The year 1!98 pririd.es the s.cc=d consecutive year of big crops
Thllowinz a series of years of re-Lei .ri-&actior. An almost record-
Large c~p of -_eat, a-d sdcve-ct i:a of! carr, grain sorgh.n
ani ariey, ;ogeche r writh a he avy carry-on-r f crar s from Last year,
inicate a tctal supply !cf feed grains r the 7ea-r trgininga July 1
az-t pter"e-t gr-ater thaE Last season. Ea--ver, feei dissn-earance
from -J-=- 1 t 3ctaer 1 has bes=- cs-ii-ral e larer than lst year,
stocks in the hadis of feed prcers ::to"ber I being o.nl.7 ab-ot 3
-r -. cerce t .acre a year ag. "-= icr.sase oTnr Last -ear in raLcers
f anLrCl =itns will _r ba l- be ab-at 5 rerzent. Some f- her ncr-ese
in Li-e3: 3: bers is tio e expected next year, Ib=t tha feed sit-ation
is serectei .o0 faTor po'ltryet at Leas -: iI thre awrnach of the 1939
.z Septaeaer :=e feed-egg ra:i Ts al y sli -hn77 =re than half
as i1it, as a th-a sane Cie inr. 1 a less th- C ercet :f th L-
year (1327-) avers---e. This relatishci? of feed prices to4 chi-kes
ard eg rrizcs is impcrta-_t to the G-u,:ryna= becerse it iricates the
rela: i.3 etwese -st -- :her prie gets for his _oitry axd eggs
and the st of his -oltry fee, hch is his major exrpe.se item. 1-Tis
rlaiar='- '-lnscss the- =-r_ er of p llets and hens saved for layers
n the faIl as well- as the size of th-a s'riz batch. It also irfl-emces
the naat a=.i kiri -o- feed fed fao- fl-cks vwich directly aff-ects egg
r'--acti'c--. :t is erected that with conti= ed L=w feed prices the feed-
egg ratic will rerari at: lerels fairrre 1to nrfltr7=ea at least -zritg
he first half of IS-5.
The feed-egg ratio a; Chinago, by selected wee"s J
(Doze=s of eggs required to buy 100 p-.mids of ai--ltrz rati:n
: Week ended as of iq39
Year :Jan.:Febj.:Mar..Anr.:May :J~e:J'1y-.a..:Sept.:Cct.:Thv.:Zec.
S: :2 :7 : L 2: 3 : :
:oz. Zs. -az. D e. Dcz. Doz. 3oz. faz. Daz. DLo. Dcz. ZO:.
- -:27-":'-._ ,.:1 5-.7 t-3y .-5 b-95 6.7 6.4 5.92 5.-7 -.3- -.-1
13:7 .--7.7-6 9.16 .-17 9.72 1C., .1 2 10-1 8.90 8.17 7.0O -.69 -.73
-9_ ..-. 5.3: -_.64 6.?? 6.T-7: 5-5'-:-- 5.5C 4.5s L.26
S. 2=sa i-ata giu listed mithly in the Deartamen t's F3ultry ar-d z-g irma.-
timn. Feed-egg ad feed-chicken ratios based an farm prices pablis-ed
monthly in its nrocn-hly ?f-:-ltry a Eg3g Pr-ducatioir. Report.
Poultry and Egg Outlook
Because of the favorable feed-egg ratio expected during the first half
of 1939 a further increase over the relatively large hatch cf 1938 is likely
in 1939. Commercial hatchings during 1938 were reported as only slightly bo-
low the record high cf 1936, which was in part due to an increasing tendency
on the part of farmers to purchase commercially hatched :hicks. Beginning in
1925, a 3-year cycle in number of chickens raised has been evident. Since the
last high point in the present cycle was reached in 1930 it is expected, if the
3-year tendency is continued, that the high point will be reached in 1939.
Chicks and young chickens in farm flecks June 1, 1930-38
(19.534 = 100)
Item 1930' 1931: 1932 1333: 1934 19%5 19o6 19: 7 : 1938
:Pet. Pet. Pet. Pet. Pet. Fct. Pot. t. -ct.
on farms ....:117.1 102.3 105.0 111.5 100.0 99.4 110.9 94.7 105.9
Because of the heavier hatch, receipts for the balrince of 1938 and the
first months of 1939 are expected to exceed those cf the Frevious yer. Re-
ceipts of dressed poultry during the spring of 1939, however, will partially
depend cn the price cf eggs then prevailing. In view of a liberal supply of
feed and an anticipated active demand for storage-packed eggs next spring,
there may be some tendency to retain mere than the usual number cf hens on
farms. Because cf the prospective heavier hatch in 1939 than in 1938, m'-rkct-
ings of poultry during the last half of that year are likely tc exceed those
Fall and winter broilers
Reports from representative producers in the broil-.r-prcducing arca of
Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia point to the possibility of -a vrry substantial
increase in the number of broilers to bu raised in that area this fall and
winter compared with a year earlit.r. The vburdance and rclL.t ively low price
of feed in the broiler-producing sections of the Middle West will most likely
maintain broiler production in that area during the reminder cf the, season
above the level of the preceding yoeir. This expr.nsion by producers already
established in the industry as well as the entrance of new producers is likely
to offset any price -Advantage gained through the more favorable feed situation,
Stocks of frozen poultry at the peak in e'-rlv 1939 arc- expected to be
heavier than in 1938 but lighter than the record holdings in 1937. Because
-of the larger production of chickens and turkeys in 1938 the net into-storage
movement during the period of accumulations from September to January is
Poultry and Egg Outlook
expected to exceed that of a year ago and is likely to approximate or slightly
exceed the average of the 10-year period 1926-27 to 1935-36. The into-storage
movement of poultry during the latter part of 1939 is also expected to exceed
that of 1938.
United States storage stocks of poultry
(Pounds 000 omitted)
Marketing : September Net into-storage : January
season September 1 January 1
__ season ____ : __ :_____ Sept, 1 Jan. 1 : _______
The number of turkeys on hand September 1, 1933, was estimated to be
nearly 4 percent greater than in 1937 and about 6 percent less than in 1936,
which was the year of maximum production.
Change from 1937 in turkeys on hand Septomb-er 1
New England .....................:
Middle Atlantic ................. :
East North Central ............... :
West North Central ............... :
South Atlantic .................. :
East South Ccntral ...............:
West South Central ..............:
Mount in ........................
Pacific Coast ...................:
Weighted U. S. average .... :
The present situation indicates that the outcome of the current turkey
season will be at least as favorable to producers as last year, especially to
those who purchase their feed. Favorable factors this year include much lower
prices of poults, a favorable growing season with heavier weights, smaller
carry-over of turkeys and chickens in cold storage, and an increased tendency
toward all-year-round consumption of turkeys. The moderate increase in numbers
and weights of birds to be marketed and the present low levels of consumer in-'
comes compared with a year ago will partially offset the favorable factors.
Poultry and Egg Outlook
A favorable outcome in the current season with abundant feed available
for next season would most likely result in a further increase in numbers of
turkeys in 19396
United States farm price of turkeys per pound
' october November
: Cents Cents Cents Ccr.ts
1927-36 .....: 18.9 20.2 13.9 19.3
1936-37 ..... ..; 15.9 15.0 14.3 14.1
1937-38 .......: 16.7 17.9 18.0 17.5
1938-39 .......: 16.5
While storage and fresh supplies of poultry in the first half cf 1939
will probably be larger than in 1938, increasing consumers' incomes may offset
the price effect of these supplies. Chicken prices usually advance seasonally
about 15 percent from a winter low until April or May. Such an increase in 1939
would cause prices to approach those of the spring of 1938.
Farm price of chickens per pound
Jan. : Mar. : May July Scpt.: Nv.
: ~M N : uy.Set ,v.
:Cents Cents Cents Cents Cents C.nts
1927-36 .......: 15.8 16.4 17.0 16.3 16.2 15.1
1937 ............: 13.4 14.4 14.8 15.3 17.4 16.9
1938 ............ 16.7 15.9 16.1 15.0 14.3
The expected increase in 1939 hatchings will probably offset the price
effect of the anticipated increases in consumer income during the last hrlf
of 1939. It is likely that prices in 1939, however, will not decline from
their peak as much as in 1938 when large supplies of ycung chickens added to
the effect of relatively low consumers' incomes.
Laying-flock si ze
The average size of laying flocks decreased about 23 percent from
January 1 to September 1 of this youear compared with 29 percent last year and
with a usual decrease of about 25 percent. On January 1, 1938, the average
number cf layers per farm flock was the lowest on record for that date since
records began in 1924. By October 1, however, it was 2 percent greater
than on that date last year.
Poultry and Egg Cutlook
;:ens and pullets in farm flocks on the first day of month
Jan. : Uar. May : June : Aug. :Sept. Oct. Dec.
:Number Number Number Number Number Number Nu-ber Number
: 86.5 83.2 76.0 71.8 65.2 64.6 69.8 81.1
: 84.2 80.0 73.1 68.5 62.1 59.9 64.3 74.4
: 77.6 75.8 68.6 65.0 59.3 59.8 65.6
.;ith increased numbers of early pullets entering the laying
favorable feed situation, higher egg prices and lighter culling of
and old stock, the size cf laying flecks probably will be about 10
larger during the coming year than they have been during 1938.
Rate cf egg r auctionn
Favorable weather with an abundance of feed and a very favcrable feed-
egg ratio has stimulated heavy feeding, resulting in increased egg production
rer layer during the past year. During every month from January to August,
incl-sive, egg production per 'k-n continued at a record-high seasonal level.
In September and Cctcber the rate dropped below ttS. level of last year, but
it still exaceded th' record for ill other years.
,.ith increasing numbers cf early pullets entering the flceks, and
assuming average weather conditions, a rate of production above ths 10-
year average should continue ttrcughcut the next year, but may nct reach
the recocrd-high seasonal levels cf 1937 and 1938.
Eggs laid per 100 hens and pullets cf laying age in farm flocks
S *: T-tal D.
Yeur : Jan. : Mar. May : July Sect.j ('t. Dec.
:u r:. : J :Jan-Sept. :
:Numbcr Nurber Nurber Nunber Number Number Number Number
1927-26 ..: 17.3 37.8 55.3 42.5 32.2 349.5 25.0 14.7
1937 .......: 22.0 39.2 57.8 44.4 36.1 370.9 28.8 18.6
1938 ....... : 22.7 42.2 58.1 46.5 35.3 389.0 28.2
Ttal erg production
ictal egg production
abcut cne-half of 1 percent
and 1.6 percent higher than
from January 1 to September 1 of this year was
higher than during the same period of last year
the 10-year (1527-36) average. Although the
Poultry and Egg Outlook
average number of layers was about 5 percent s-maller this year than last, the
increased rate of lc.y per bird was mc:.e than enough to offset the decreased
numbers of layers.
iHith increasing namtare of layers expoctcd for the next .e.,r &nd a favor-
able feed-egg ratio, total eC% production during the coming year is expected to
EFggs loid per frflock
Y 01; : 1y :tSl :
Year : Jan. V Mar. Ma July :Snpt. : .-Supt. Got. Dec.
:iJumer ?umber hurnber N-uYber Number r: urier N'umber Number
1927-26 ...: 15.0 31.6 41.5 28.6 20.5 260.5 17.3 12.0
1937 .........: 18.5 31.7 41.8 27.9 21.1 263.3 13.3 14.1
1938 ........ : 17.8 32.5 39.4 28.? 20.7 264.E 18.3
Although the production of eggr for te first 9 months of 1938 was
slightly larger than lrst year, eg; marketings were lighter than in either
1937 or 1936.
Unless weather conditions are particularly sev re during the winter,
the rate of marketing by the end of 1038 is expected to be larger than that
of a year earlier because nmore. birds will ba added to laying flecks. Ar ex-
ceptionally fevcrable fecd-e-g ratio and larger numbers of loyir.g birds are
likely to result in comrrparatively heavy marketing cf eggs throughout 1959.
Egg st orage
Stocks of shell Eggs in cold storage in the United States at the peak
of the 1938 season, August 1, wcre lowr thruan a yc-r ago by approximately
2,250,000 cases (or 26.5 percent), and the lightest since 1916. V\hilc stocks
of frozen eggs were smrllcr than in 19%7 they rere larger than the 19-2'-c6
average, but not sufficiently large to offset the shortage in shell--'.gg
The anticipated favorz.blc outcome of the current storage operations
is likely to result in an increased d'-mand for eggs to be stored next spring.
In addition, supplies cf eggs available for storage are expected to be larger
in ]939 than a year earlier. Accordingly, storc.ge stcck: of shell and frozen
eggs in 1959 arj expected to be larg'sr than in 1938.
Poultry and Fgg Outlook
Shell and frozen eggs in cold storage on the first day of the month
converted to shell-egg equivalent 1/
Jan. Mar. ;ay Auag.
Sept. r Lct.
1927-36 ....: 2,723
1937 .........: 2,132
1938 ..........: 3,951
1,374 6,316 12,096 1:,348 9,838
1,3C5 6,925 135,486 12,969 11,293
2.,817 %,,515 10,273 9,514 7,914
Casts cf 30 dozen eggs.
Egg prices during the winter months will be materially affected by
weather conditions, particularly since the reserve supply of -?ggs in
storage is at abnormally low levels. Severe wintt-vr weather might cause
an extreme although temporary? rise in egg prices. The expected small carry-
over of storage eggs on January 1, lb39, together with improving consumers'
incom-ns, nru favorable factors which ar3 likely to morj th-..n cffs:t the
expected larger supplies of fr, sh egb during thc. Lurly part r.f 1939.
With larger into-ztoragu mov-'mnt in prosp-.ct for 1939 and increased
supplies of fresh cgs, th- cgp market during the last hu-lf of 1939 will
probably be somewh-lt weaker than in 1938. If consumer inccnm.s should im-
prove materially, however, the:' may cffet thz unfavorable effect of lIrgo
Farm price of eggs per dozen
. S-pt ir.
: Cents Cents C:nts Cunts Cents Cents
1927-o6 .....: 27.3 18.2 17.7 18.8 24.5 32.5
1937 ..........: 23.1 19.9 17.9 19.4 2 .9 28.0
1938 .........: 21.6 16.2 17.6 19.9 24.9
Poultry and Ebg Outlook
Long-Time Factors in the Poultry Outlook
The outlook for 1939 points to an increase in poultry and egg supplies.
The expected expansion of the industry in 1939 may lead to some temporary
contraction of production in 1940. Unless unfavorable conditions intervene,
however, the swing of production over the next 4 or 5 years is likely to be
upward from the relatively low levels of the past several seasons.
The high point in numbers of chickens on farms, around 475 millions,
was reached in 1928. Since that time numbers have declined to about 387
millions in 1938 due to droughts and disturbing economic conditions. In view
of the volume of production of the poultry industry at its puak in 1928, it
seems reasonable to expect some re-expansion ov-r the next few years. Whilo
the increase in population over the past decide would require some increase
in average production if per capital consumption is to b' maintained, the trAnd
toward increased efficiency of layers has been such that former levels of pro-
duction can be attained with fewer birds.
More specific factors pointing in the direction cf an increased out-
put of poultry and eggs are (1) the probability of more abundant feed in most
of the recent drought areas, (2) a long-time tendency toward a higher rate
of lay per bird, and (3) a continuation of the trend toward coemrrcial flocks.
In the case of poultry meats, the trend is in the direction of mere specialized
methods of production, evidence of which is to be seen in the increasing pro-
duction of fall and winter broilers and turkeys.
Regional trends in egg production
Reductions in numbers of layers during the past 10 yo:.rs have occurred
in all regions of the United States, the decrease having been sharpest in the
central parts of thL country and least marked in the are,-s of commercial
production in the Northeast. Much of the reduction in numbers of birds,
especially in the West Central Stats, was caused by the droughts in 1934
and 1936. More ncrmul crop conditions in this area will undoubtedly bring
about a substantial recovery of poultry prcducticn during the next few
Numbers of layers in the highly commercialized areas of the far
Western States have shown a decline of 17 percent as compared with only
2 percent decline in the similar commercialized section of the forth
Atlantic States. One of the reasons for the greater decrease ir the far
West has been the low level of egg prices in recent years, which has made
it difficult for eggs frcm that section to bear the cost of transportation
to Eastern cities. Another factor has been the incrcuse in the proportion
of high quality eggs produced in areas other thar the for West, since such
eggmiow compete strongly in the eastern metropolitan markets with Pacific
Poultry and Egg Outlook
The South since 1928 has maintained practically a constant proportion
(30 percent ) of the hens in the. United States, but has not increased its rate
of lay per bird quite as much as the rest of the country. This section will
probably endt.avor to increase production in the future both because of a more
diversified agriculture and in order to care for its increasing urban population.
Another trend in thi. poultry industry is the increasing importance of
large-scalu commercial bgg production. This dvc.vlopmr.nt has buen aspt.cially
marked in thti North Atlantic States during rtceint years and is largely re.spon-
siblu for the fact that this region now products more than 12 prrcunt of the
total Uni.ttd States i:gg pr-duction as compared with only about 10 nr.rcent in
1928. Commercial .gg producers usually spp.cialize in thu production of r.ggs
of good quality during th. periods of normal scarcity. Pr,.sent indications
point to an increase in the proportion of ..ggs from commercial laying flocks.
Trend in rate of lay ptr bird
A persisti.nt increase. in the number of i.ggs l1:id p,.r h.n has been
shown since data w=.r., first made available by tht. FF.di.ral Ci.nsus in 1880.
Part of this gain may bi; ascrib,.d to mori. intensive methods of commercial c.gg
production. Sarpl,. flock ri.turns indicate that commercial flocks produce
about 19 pt.rc.nt more c.ggs per lzaycr than Navrage farm flocks. Practically
all of this increase. in production pt.r layer by large over small flocks comes
during the fall and winter months.
For the futurL., it is safu to assumi. that improvent.nts in laying stock
will continue and that better managemt.nt methods will be.comn more general. The
industry is adopting measures to control mortality of -iyers, which is &spt.ciall3
troublt'somte in largc. commercial flocks. Average production per he.n will vary
from year to year, but the. longtime trend is upward.
Mortality in la,'ing flocks
Tht.rt h. 's bebn a striking increase in the mortality of lz:ybrs during the
past 15 years :and an almost equally striking dr.creast. in lossc.s of chicks axnd
young chickr.ns. Increast.d losses of lay1.rs art. shown in all ar,.as, but have
been most pronounct.d in tht. h, avy comme-rcial area-s and in cammmrcirdl flocks.
Data for farm flocks are mc-age(r, but suggest that losses in tht.se hav. not in-
crmasc.d n,.arly so rapidly as in commerci:-L flocks. Rt.cords kept 'on flocks under
close confinem,.nt indicate that mortality in tht-st si.l,.cted flocks during the
past 15 years has almost double.d.
There have been numerous explanations for this increase in laying look
mortality, none of which are generally accepted. Many diseases and parasites
have been brought under control, but as solutions have been found for older
diseases, new ones have developed. One of the most destructive groups of dis-
eases at present, of which little is known and for which no effective control
has yet been developed, is leucosis. Until effective methods of control for
leucosis are found,mortality of laying flocks will no doubt remain high.
Poultry and Egg Cutlook
Average annual mortality of chickens as reported
by State bxttnsion specialists I/
No. of States
No. of State's : Pe.r..nt
reporting,- : ,lort.'Jity 2/
l/ The mortality of young chickens shown in the tible covc.rs the first
8 or 10 we,.ks of the brooding pt.riod. The South Atlan*ic and We.stcrn Status
are not representm.d.
2/ Average. of State averages.
Seasonal Changes in Egg Production
The proportion of the annual supply of tggs sold during winter months
has been increasing since. pre-war ycars. While, this increase ha-: not be6n a
constant one it has now rea-chud such proportions that it material" aff,.cts
poultry producers' operations.
The accompanying table indicates the extent to which Iejw York recr.ints
of ,ggs during fall and winter months have increase-d relative to markbtings
at other sc.asons:
Egg receipts at New York City 7-ytar averages
Percent each month is of average annual totals
Period Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. ay: June July Ag. Spt. Oct. Novv. Dtc.: Total
1910-16 4.0 5.3 10.9 15.9 16.1 12.2 8.7 7.7 6.6 5.6 3.5 3.5 100.0
1917-23 4.2 6.0 12.9 15.5 14.5 11.7 8.7 7.5 6.4 5.5 3.6 3.5 100.0
1924-30 5.6 7.0 12.1 15.0 14.0 11.4 E.4 6.8 6.1 5.1 3.9 4.6 100.0
1931-37 7.4 7.4 11.4 12.6 13.3 10.9 8.3 6.9 6.1 5.5 4.8 5.4 loo100.0
An increased supply of winter ..ggs can bh, obtained by th. usa of nullets
from earlier hatchings, improvc.mr.nts in laying stock, and improved housing and
management nt. The increase of winter c.gg r,.c-.ipts r:.fli.cts, to some extent at
least, the growth of commercial poultry farms specializing in c.gg production.
Poultry and Egg Butlook
At least partially as a r,.sult of the changing s, asonal tr,.nd in egg
supplies the.rc has also been a change in the trend of seasonal egg prices since
pre-war years. Since 1930 farm t.gg prices have usually reached a peak in
November instead of Dacember and the rise to and d-cline from this peak now
occurs about one month .a-rlier than it did during tho years prior to 1931.
Trends in thE. production of poultry m.:.ts
,Tf considerable importance in the production of poultry meats is tie
trend toward more commercialized production methods. One of the factors making
for this tendency is the dt.velopm,.nt of more spt.ciolized and .fficiunt .gg
production mi.thods, which h}.s reduced the supply of poultry mt.ats arising as a
by-product of ,gg production. Th.. growing practice of stxing baby chicks and
destroying surplus m.lt!s is further reducing the supply of poultry mcat from
this source. This ha. encouraged the production of fall and winter broil.rs
as a specialized enterprise, and may it.ad to similar methods in the production
of roasters .nd hc:avi(.r m.nut birds.
Until tht. advtert of commercial production methods, broili.rs w% re mainly
the by-product of the production of layers. Markctirgs wcre limited to the
spring and summer months, with little or no attention given to the production
of "off-season" broilt.rs for use during fall and winter months.
Spo cialized brciltr prcducticn on an e.xttnsive. sczlc was bNgun many
years g4o in several sections of the country, notably the. Forth Atlantic States
and later in the DJ.laware-Maryland-and-Virginini art.a. Recently it h:,s been
sta rte'd in othir areas, t:xamples of which are northwt.stcrn Arkansas and parts
Turkey production over the. past thrue or four decades has shown
several rr.vt.rsals of trend. It fell to a low lI.vel in the twentic.s owing to
th, long-continued and heavy losst.s from blackheiad. Following the gradual
adoption of control methods for this and otht.r diseases, the decrease. was
arrested and numb,.rs began to increase. The trend of production has bean
sharply upward during the p-.st 10 y.ea-rs, and numbi.rs during recent yoars
E.xceed the.se of any previous o,.riod. Population incr, ase, howm.ver, h is been
such that pur-ca.ita consumpti-n is still a little. b low that of earlier periods.
Production of turkeys in larger flocks and under improved man-agumc.nt
methods has b.on characteristic of tht, industry in rt.ci.nt years. This improve-
ment, to-,ther with the development of a yt.ar-around irarket for turkeys, promises
a continued troansion of th; industry to the. point where per-capita consumption
will probably equal .and ma : t.xcei.d that of earlier years.
Increasing the consu-motion of poultry products
A recent developmt.nt in the poultry industry h::sbeen the; effort of
producers and trade groups to increase the dt.msnd foV uggs and poultry products
through various methods of advertising and sales prcnotion. Efforts of this
kind have taken several forms, the most important of which are the producer-
consumer campaigns sponsored by organized retail gr-oups.
Poultr-y and Egg Outlook
In connt.ction with thusc. or
several factors nea.d to be k-pt in t
determined by thd amount produc.d.
promotion will thus be. rt.fleacted in
capital consumption, as is somn.tines
any other ,efforts at s-al&s promotion for ,.ggs,
mind. Consumption in any season is largely
Any immediate effect of advertising or sales
terms of price rather than of increased per-
The price at which a given volume of eggs can be moved into consumption
is dpi ndent mainly on the 1.vel of consumer purchasing power. Within limits,
however, this price may be influenced by efforts on the part of the trade to
"push" the product. Because of their general usu and the already widespread
knowledge of their food propt.rties, it is doubtful if the demand for .-ggs can
be greatly incrc.asi.d by advertising and sales promotion efforts alone.
In connection with their i.fforts to "push" the salu of eggs and poultry
products, most retailers maku special price concessions to consumers. Insofar
as this results in a narrowing of marketing spreads, it reacts to th. bt.ni.fit
of both producers and consumt.rs.
A factor often lost sight of in efforts to incrt.ast. the, consumption of
food products is the effect of family incom.. on food ourchass. Eggs and
especially poultry mr.ats are of ten in thi. nature. of a semi-luxury for many
people. of limitt.d means. Studies which hsv, bo,n made indicate that fr.-ilies
whose incomes pt.rmit food purchases of $150 or more pT.r capital pver y,.ar oat
more than twice as many i.ggs as thos.. whost p.r capital food budget is as little
as $100 or lTss par year, For large sections of the population the way to
greatly increased demand is clearly through an incr.asi in the whc.rcwithal to
buy. (See tablt. below for per capital consumption of chickens and ,.ggs.)
Annual prtr capital consumption of chickc.ps and eggs
Y. ar ; Chickens Eggs
Pounds pt-r capital Pcunds p..r canita
1926-30 21.2 42.2
1931....... 20.2 40o.
1932....... 20.4 38.3
1933....... 21.1 37.2
1934....... 19.4 36.0
1935....... 18.6 34.4
1936....... 20.4 34.8
1937....... 19.0 35.6
Poultry and Igg Oatlook
fte Relation of reign Trade to the Poultry Industr
Foreign trade t1 a comparatively unimportant factor in the American
paltry industry. In 1936 the total value of poultry and egg imports
into the United States mwas 2.5 million dollars, less than one percent of
the total U. S. farm Inuo (S90 million dollars,fron poultry and eggs.
United States imports of Chinese eggs
American egg imports from China consist chiefly of dried eggs. The
imposition of a 50 percent higher duty in 1930, together with depressed
economic conditions, have caused a substantial reduction in the volmo of
such imports since that time (see table). Imports in 1936 and 1937 ex-
ceeded those of the earlier depression years, but indications are that
those of 1938 will be the smallest on record.
Since 1909 the United States tariff on eggs and egg products has
been revised upward a number of times. Each tariff rate increase was
chiefly at the expense of China. The application of the 1930 tariff duty
amounting to 10 cents per dozen caused a virtual exclusion of imports of
fresh eggs from China. The same Tariff Act resulted in the virtual
elimination of Chinese albumen from the American market, while the imports
of frozen yolk are still at low levels. The tariff duty on dried yolk is
27 cents per pound.
Inas-ach as egg imports from China are relatively unimportant in
comparison with domestic egg supplies, even the complete exclusion of
such imports would not materially benefit United States farmers.
Ordinarily China buys more from the United States than from any other
country in the world and much more than the United States boys from
China. The maintenance or expansion of our exports to China of such
products as cotton, tobacco, and wheat depends to some extent, at least,
upon our ability and willingness to increase our imports from China.
Japanese poultry export programs
Reports are current in the American poultry industry concerning
the Japanese plans to export frozen poultry to the United States on a
large scale. Information available in the Department seems to indicate
that the successful realization of any such contemplated plans is doubt-
Total American imports-of all type, of. Japanese poultry for the
period January-sAgust 1938 amounted to onmy 83,917 pounds. With the
exception of two large shipments of 30,000 pounds each, in April and
June, imports prior and since- have been vpry, small.
Though Japanese labor is rather cheap, the margin of profit on
poultry exported from Japan to the United States is necessarily low be-
cause of the cost of freight to New York (6 cents per pound) and the
import duty (also 6 cents per pound).
Poultry and Agg Outlook
Imports of eggs and egg products from China into the United
Year : Egg albumen : Egg yolks : Whole eggs : Eggs in
: Dried :Frozen : Dried :Frozen : Dried :Frozen : shell
: 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
lb. lb. lb. lb. lb. lb. doz.
1925-29 ..... : 3.333 1,855 4,745 3,564 1,153 6,701 292
1930 ...........: 2,934 681 6,402 1.586 1,185 1,980 287
1931 ........... : 1,965 --- 3,881 763 700 6 290
1932 ...........: 1, 22 --- 1,170 412 20 2 222
193 ...........: 656 --- 2,540 344 17 101 207
1934 ..........: 391 --- 2,320 393 --- 955 186
1935 ........... : 1,864 --- 3,916 1,196 579 --- 17
1936 ............: 2,358 -- 4,896 805 506 --- 23
1937 ...........: 2,839 --- 5,421 1,465 587 25 47
Jan.-July 1937 ." 1,626 --- 3,469 1,072 374 --- 15
Jan.-July 1938 .: 327 --- 201 364 126 --- 58
Compiled from Foreign Commerce and Navigation of the United States.
Trade agreements affecting poultry products
The American poultry industry is little, if any, affected by the
trade agreements now in force. Canada is the only country where the trade
agreement touches upon poultry items. The agreement provides that the
duty on imported live poultry from Canada shall be reduced from 8 to 4
cents per pound and on dead chickens and guineas from 10 to 6 cents per
pound. Canada reduced her import duties on live and dressed poultry from
20 percent to 17f percent ad valorem. Our concession to Canada auto-
matically extends to all other countries which trade with the United States
under the terms of the most-favored nation clause, but this is unimportant
because Canada is the main souce of poultry meat imports.
Since the enactment of the trade agreement, exports of Canadian
poultry to the United States have increased from 42,000 pounds in 1935 to
1,292,000 pounds in 1936, finally reaching a high of 4,441,000 pounds in
1937. Imports reached this high figure largely because supplies of
American poultry were low on account of the drought. The sharp upturn of
1937 was not carried into 1938. Imports in the first 6 months of 1938
amounted to 546,000 pounds, or 37 percent lower in volume and 34 percent
lower in value than the imports of the corresponding 1937 period.
ut'>'EwSIr DF rLDtoDa
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