Bird Flu Continues To Impact Poultry & Cows

April 4, 2024

This is spread by waterfowl. We’re ready for the ducks to head north to their nesting grounds.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in an interview discussing the impact bird flu is having amongst Texas cows and poultry. Wild birds carrying the highly contagious virus will likely head north soon.

Why It Matters: The largest egg producer in the U.S., Cal-Maine, halted all operations at their Texas facility earlier this week after detecting the bird flu. They slaughtered 1.6 million hens and more than 330,000 pullets (young hens) to help minimize the virus less than a day after one person in Texas became infected. How the bird flu could impact your wallet remains to be determined.

Egg prices: Cal-Maine accounts for 20% of the U.S. egg market. In wake of the 2022 bird flu outbreak, the cost of a dozen eggs hit record prices at $4.82 in January 2023. Right now, the average cost of a dozen eggs is $3.

Milk prices: Likely not impacted, as cows recover from the sickness unlike poultry. Additionally, pasteurization kills the virus.

Read More: Bird flu hits Texas dairy cows, hens, human as ducks migrate (Reuters)

Cal-Maine Foods, largest producer of eggs in US, finds bird flu in chickens at Texas plant (USA Today)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas