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Herbruck’s poultry faces layoffs after bird flu crisis

By Farms.com

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, one of the largest egg producers in the United States, has initiated a significant workforce reduction in response to a devastating bird flu outbreak. The Michigan-based company announced the layoff of approximately one-third of its employees after the virus severely impacted their operations.

In Michigan, a state notably affected by bird flu, the virus has not only hit poultry farms but also spread to dairy cattle, creating a broader agricultural crisis. This April, Herbruck’s lost around 6.5 million egg-laying hens to avian influenza, leading to a drastic reduction in egg supply.

The layoffs began last week, with Herbruck’s notifying Michigan’s labor department that 400 workers across various roles—including accounting, human resources, management, processing, and sanitation—would be affected. The company emphasized that while the layoffs are largely temporary, there will be some permanent job losses.

Herbruck’s commitment to safety and recovery includes plans to replenish its hen stocks and return to normal production levels. The company, which employs over 1,100 people across several facilities in Michigan and Pennsylvania, remains hopeful that many positions can be refilled once the situation stabilizes.

This outbreak has prompted increased biosecurity and travel restrictions across the state as Michigan seeks to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect its agricultural sectors. Herbruck’s continues to work closely with state health and agricultural officials to navigate this challenging period and prepare for a recovery phase.


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