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Agricultural Marketing Resource Center



The egg industry is one that has changed over the years from many smaller producers to one that is highly centralized and more specialized. In the early years of American agriculture, many farmers had chickens and collected eggs for their own use or for sale to friends, neighbors and the local grocer. Today, fewer farmers raise layers, and those farmers often specialize in egg production, maintaining large flocks of layers.

Prior to World War II, most egg production came from farm flocks of less than 400 hens. By the early 1960s, improved technology and the development of sophisticated mechanical equipment were responsible for a shift from small farm flocks to larger commercial operations. In the major egg-producing states, flocks of 100,000 laying hens are common, and some flocks number more than 1 million. Each of the 340 million laying birds in the United States in 2012 produced an average of 274 eggs a year (NASS 2013).  October 2013 ...  Eggs



  • Egg Products, NASS, USDA.
  • Federal Inspection Programs, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), USDA - Programs for inspection and monitoring of all meat, poultry and egg products sold in interstate and foreign commerce to ensure compliance with mandatory U.S. food safety standards and inspection legislation. Includes information for and about processing establishments.
  • Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) provides guidelines and regulations relative to egg handling and processing. See the Egg Products and Food Safety, the Shell Eggs for Farm and Table.
  • National Food Safety Programs: Egg Safety - This list of related information is provided by the Food and Drug Administration, the USDA, the U.S. EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Links checked December 2013.


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