The future is unclear for poultry farmers who lost their flocks after a recent case of bird flu. Farmers still don’t know when federal officials will allow them to start rebuilding their flocks just yet. This has become a big problem for farmers after having suffered a great loss (about 40 million chickens and turkeys) and it is currently unknown when production will resume. Health officials have eradicated an estimated 42 million egg-laying chickens and 7.5 million turkeys nationwide.
What further adds to their problems is the demand for product. The demand for chicken has been high even before the outbreak hit, so this adds further pressure to farmers who have lost almost everything. Health officials are cautious about when to allow birds back, as the disease will be expected to return after the birds migrate this fall. And it can come back unexpectedly just like how the recent hit came in the first place.
Minnesota and Iowa contained most of the birds killed by health officials, but the disease the disease is expected to have affected the entire country. Reports say about fifteen states, including Nebraska, have been affected. Experts from the Iowa poultry Association states that if birds are able to return by the end of the year, egg production can resume early next year in the soonest.