Author(s): McDaniel BA, Aske DR
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Abstract On April 7, 1998, the United Poultry Concerns filed a petition with the Department of Health and Human Services of the Food and Drug Administration calling for the elimination of the practice of forced molting of laying hens in the US. In reaction to this petition, this study investigated the economic importance of forced molting as a short-term production management tool for egg producers. The relationship between shell egg prices and feed costs and the occurrence of forced molting in the five shell egg-pricing regions in the US was addressed. The purpose of this analysis was to determine whether forced molting is used to slow egg production during periods of falling or low egg prices or periods of high or rising feed costs. Ordinary least squares was used to test the relationship between the independent variables (egg, corn, and meal prices) and the dependent variable (percentage of layers in molt). In four of the five regions, there was a significant inverse relationship (P < 0.05) between egg prices and the percentage of layers in molt. This analysis suggests that producers were influenced by current egg prices when making the decision to molt. However, the relationship between the percentage of layers in molt and corn and meal prices was less clear. Although a positive relationship between feed prices and molt was found in each region, in only one region was the relationship statistically significant (P < 0.05).
This article was published in Poult Sci
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology