The UK broiler industry has got off to a flying start this year as demand for home-produced chicken continues to grow.
Placings of day-old chicks have shown a year-on-year rise in each of the first four months, with expansion in March and April reaching impressive levels.
Overall an extra 18 million chicks were placed between Jan-Apr, amounting to growth of 5%. In March and April, the increase hit 9.5% and 7.2% respectively (see table).
By contrast, the turkey sector has gone backwards after the promising end to 2016.
In the last quarter of 2016, turkey poult numbers had been up by 9% on the year before (even after adjusting for the additional recording week last December). This was reflected in the 9% rise in output in the first quarter this year, as reported in last month’s issue.
However, poult numbers dropped away again from January to April, averaging a fall of 9.4% compared with the same months of 2016.