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Current Challenges in Egg Production

In this interview from the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention 2019, Dr. Eric Gingerich comments on the most pressing challenges facing the egg industry.


Dr. Gingerich – I am Eric Gingerich, Technical Services Specialist, Poultry, for Diamond V.

Question: Dr Gingerich, what are some of the major challenges facing the egg industry?

Dr. Gingerich – Some of the major challenges facing the egg industry right now are of course disease challenges. Also we’re dealing with labor issues, finding enough people to work in layer houses, that sort of stuff, but there are some major disease problems out there.

Question: Are there some current issues you could tell us about?

Dr. Gingerich: Right now on the East Coast we’re having issues with infectious coryza, which we had not dealt with in a long, long time in that area. There’s approximately 12 million layers that are involved, since January 1st we’ve had numerous outbreaks and it has caused severe production loss and high mortality. Not only in layers but broiler flocks are also involved with high condemnations, high mortality, that’s one of the biggest issues right now.

Question: EDS is a global concern. Is it being seen in the US?

Dr. Gingerich: Yes in fact, in the same areas as we have coryza, we’re seeing this EDS, which is called Egg Drop Syndrome. It’s caused by an adenovirus that causes an infection in the chickens that doesn’t cause mortality, but it causes the oviduct to not function properly. The shells on the eggs are weak, brown egg layers lose pigmentation, and production is lost because the eggs are so weak they fall through the system and aren’t collected.

Question: How might producers address these recent challenges?

Dr. Gingerich: For both of those diseases, they’re looking at producing autogenous vaccines. An autogenous vaccine is a vaccine made out of a particular isolate from that farm, and they’re looking to vaccinate pullets that are going into these layer houses to prevent the disease. Other things like biosecurity, using disinfectants more, and things like that are all involved.

Question: Can you comment on specific diseases in regions around the world?

Dr. Gingerich: Around the world, they’re always having avian influenza issues. Certain areas of the world like China, Egypt, the Middle East; those areas seem to have a consistent problem with avian influenza. There is one particular strain of avian influenza that’s even crept into the Southeast Asia area, which is pretty serious.