Confidence in the broiler sector bounced back in June, bringing the biggest rise in day-old chick placings this year.
Compared with June a year ago, chick numbers last month were up by 2.5% to 95.3m.
This latest increase has brought year-to-date broiler placings into positive territory for the first time in 2023.
At this point, the overall expansion compared with last year is marginal due to cutbacks in previous months.
Total chicks placed during the Jan-Jun period were up by 420,000 on the same period of 2022, to reach 597m, representing an increase of just 0.07%.
With the latest increase in placings yet to find its way into the processing plants, chicken output is still showing the effects of those earlier cutbacks.
Total production during the four months March-June was down by 24,000 tonnes on a year earlier, or 4%, to 577,000t.
In June itself, production was down by a hefty 9% on the same month a year ago.
Since January, the overall decline in output has been smaller, thanks to an increase of 8,800t in January and February combined.
June was also a better month for the turkey sector. Poult placings in the month were up by 60,000 on June 2022, marking the largest monthly rise in day-olds so far this year, amounting to 4.8%.
June also marks the start of the seasonal placings calendar, so the increase is an encouraging sign for the coming Christmas trade.
Overall in 2023, though, the home-produced turkey sector has so far been in decline. Bird numbers have been down by 130,000 since January, compared with the same period of last year, a drop of 2% to 6m.