Monitoring animal health

Researchers are using remote sensing technologies to increase the health and efficiency of livestock production. One of the studies involved tracking chickens to get a sense of the basics for potential cage-free production. How many feeders to provide a cage-
free flock is one of the many production questions that need answering, says Hongwei Xin, director of [Continue Reading…]

Xin: Opportunities and challenges of going cage-free

By Dr. Hongwei Xin Special to Poultry Times AMES, Iowa — The number of food service retailers, grocers, chain restaurants and tourism companies that have pledged to source only cage-free eggs by year 2025 translates to more than 160 million laying hens needed to meet the demand. This quantity exceeds half of the current U.S. [Continue Reading…]

Xin: Lowest egg prices in a decade

Hongwei Xin, director of the Egg Industry Center, says the layer population here has rebounded, “As of today, we have about 48 million laying hens and we lost about 25 million during the AI outbreak. So, at the high point, our state had about 59 million and so we’re about 10 to 11 million birds [Continue Reading…]

Xin: Egg prices forecast to fall as industry recovers from bird flu

Hongwei Xin, director of the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University, said the state is making good progress in recovering from bird flu. Iowa had 46.5 million egg-laying hens as of mid-March compared with 58.3 million before the outbreak. Producers are adding about 3 million birds each month, but that pace is expected to slow [Continue Reading…]

ISU test results provide six-year snapshot of egg safety

Six years of Iowa State University testing show a dramatic decrease in the number of environmental samples taken from egg facilities that test positive for the Salmonella enteritidis bacterium causing human food poisoning. “The test data also show that the likelihood of a positive environmental test translating into contaminated eggs is extremely low,” said Hongwei Xin, [Continue Reading…]

Xin: Egg industry sprinting to keep up with cage-free demand

The move to cage-free isn’t cheap. Egg producers spend $30 to $60 per chicken to make the switch from conventional cages to a cage-free, or “aviary,” system, according to the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University. Most large operations house a million or more birds, so the costs can add up quickly to reach upwards [Continue Reading…]

CALS outstanding faculty and staff awards announced

The Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences announced its faculty and staff award winners for 2015. The Dean’s Citation for Extraordinary Contributions Award was awarded to the Egg Industry Center. Staff members include Hongwei Xin, director and C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in both the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering and animal [Continue Reading…]

Rising egg prices bedevil restaurants, grocers and consumers

It’s not entirely clear how the virus transferred from wild birds, which are carriers of the H5N2 virus, to poultry packed in enclosed facilities. Conventional wisdom says the virus is transferred through physical contact such as bird droppings. But Hongwei Xin, director of the Egg Industry Center and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at [Continue Reading…]

Canadian gift will help fund avian influenza research

Egg Farmers of Canada has committed $500,000 for avian influenza research to be awarded to and administered by the Egg Industry Center (EIC) at Iowa State University. Egg Farmers of Canada is the national not-for-profit organization that represents Canada’s more than 1,000 egg farms. Given the significant impact that highly pathogenic avian influenza is having [Continue Reading…]

Xin discusses Avian Flu on Iowa Press

Fighting flu. Fearing consequences. Avian flu sending disease specialists, market managers, law enforcement and political leaders scrambling. Insight from three leaders in the fight on this edition of Iowa Press.

Egg production study explores environmental impact of industry

Iowa State University researchers played a key role in a recently completed comprehensive study of egg production systems that details the tradeoffs producers may face among considerations such as animal health, efficiency and environmental impact. Hongwei Xin, a Distinguished Professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and director of the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State, [Continue Reading…]

Xin weighs in on egg price spike in California

Starting 2015, the California egg law passed six years prior finally went into effect, making it so no eggs can be sold in the state unless the laying hens had 116 square inches per bird. Even though the law is in California, any state wanting to sell there must comply. It essentially doubles the amount [Continue Reading…]