Largest U.S. Egg Producer Has Found Bird Flu In Chickens At A Texas Plant, Causing Temporary Closure

SUPHANBURI, THAILAND - JANUARY 27: A chicken peers out from a cage at the Sanoh chicken farm January 27, 2007 in Suphanburi, Thailand. The family run Sanoh farm has around 5,000 chickens located in one of the main chicken farm areas two hours north of Bangkok. Although the farm has been completely free of Bird Flu, its owners say that they are struggling to make ends meet with lower prices on eggs and increased prices on chicken feed. New outbreaks of bird flu are causing concern in the Asian region with new cases surfacing in Thailand, China and Vietnam. Officials from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) say that the latest outbreaks are not as serious as 2004 but worry about the spike in Avian flu. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
(Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
12:03 PM -Wednesday, April 3, 2024

The biggest producer of fresh eggs in the United States said it has temporarily closed one of its facilities in Texas after bird flu was found in chickens. Officials also announced that the virus had been detected at a poultry facility in Michigan. 


Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. said one of its facilities in Parmer County “tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza, resulting in depopulation of approximately 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, or approximately 3.6% of the Company’s total flock as of March 2, 2024.”

“Production at the facility has temporarily ceased as the Company follows the protocols prescribed by the USDA,” it added, noting there is “no known risk related to HPAI associated with eggs that are currently in the market and no eggs have been recalled.”

The latest closure by the egg producing company comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Monday that a person in Texas tested positive for the bird flu as well. 

“This person had exposure to dairy cattle in Texas presumed to be infected with HPAI A(H5N1) viruses. The patient reported eye redness (consistent with conjunctivitis), as their only symptom, and is recovering,” the CDC said in a statement. “The patient was told to isolate and is being treated with an antiviral drug for flu.”

Additionally, there is no known bird flu risk involved with eggs that are currently in the market and no eggs have been recalled. 

“This infection does not change the H5N1 bird flu human health risk assessment for the U.S. general public, which CDC considers to be low,” it added. “However, people with close or prolonged, unprotected exposures to infected birds or other animals (including livestock), or to environments contaminated by infected birds or other animals, are at greater risk of infection.”

Furthermore, dairy cows in Kansas and Texas were reported to have been infected with bird flu last week, according to The Associated Press

According to Cal-Maine Foods, they say they’re “working to secure production from other facilities to minimize disruption to its customers” and is in close coordination “with federal, state and local government officials and focused industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response.”

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