Egg Industry - June 2018 - 21
EggIndustry ❙ 21
free; to reach the 2026 goal, producers
would have to transition 21.5 million a
year for the next eight years. We could
end up with a surplus of cage-free
eggs until 2026, said Ibarburu, even if
the pledges are honored.
Producers may experience higher
mortality rates, lower eggs per hen
housed and poorer feed conversion
rates in a cage-free system, Ibarburu
noted. In short, cage-free eggs have
a larger environmental footprint
than cage-produced eggs. "For the
pledges [to be met], we will need
another 118,000 acres to supply the
corn and soybean meal that we need
to feed these birds," said Ibarburu.
Demand for cage-free eggs varies in different areas of the country.
"Higher proportion of cage-free eggs
are sold either on the West Coast or
the East Coast; the lowest proportion
of cage free is sold in the Midwest
and south-central regions of the
2017 Nielsen retail sales of organic
and cage-free eggs per region
Source: Nielsen Egg Trends, 52 weeks ending December 30, 2017, from American Egg Board (AEB) highlights January 26, 2018
A higher proportion of cage-free eggs is sold on the West Coast and
the East Coast; the lowest proportion is sold in the Midwest and South
Central regions of the country.
country," said Ibarburu. Retailers
will have to come up with a marketing plan for customers to buy the
more expensive option. "This will
really take some creativity and research," Ibarburu added.
Potential health risk
A potential risk for cage-free
systems is poultry red mites. This
harmful mite is extremely costly
to the poultry industry; annual
European industry losses alone are
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June 2018 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
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