DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ The poultry farmers who lost millions of chickens and turkeys to the bird flu this spring are facing an uncertain future.

The Des Moines Register reports ( ) the farmers aren’t sure when federal officials will allow them to start rebuilding their flocks or whether enough birds will be available.

Dave Rettig is president of Rembrandt Foods in Spirit Lake, Iowa, which lost 8 million egg-laying hens. Rettig says the disease decimated the egg industry and who knows if it will return in the fall when birds migrate again.

Rettig says it will take at least a year or two for the industry to rebuild flocks, and he’s not sure when his business will be allowed to resume.