Avian flu outbreaks were reported at five more Iowa facilities Monday, with more than 6 million birds infected. All told, the number of infected laying hens and turkeys in Iowa has now jumped to 10 million at eight locations. Most of the losses have been egg-laying hens, about 9.6 million total. One of the five Iowa cases announced Monday included 3.8 million laying hens infected at a commercial facility in Sioux County, matching last week’s outbreak at Sunrise Farms in Osceola County.
The two facilities are the largest in the nation that have been affected by the outbreak. The widespread outbreak of the disease has rattled the poultry industry and led to concerns that the growing toll could affect consumer prices for eggs, turkey and other poultry products. Within days, the virus has wiped out about 20 percent of the 60 million egg-laying hens in Iowa, the nation’s largest producer of eggs. MORE