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
- American Egg Board - This association serves “to allow egg producers to fund and carry out proactive programs to increase markets for eggs, egg products, and spent fowl products through promotion, research and education.”
- Eggs, Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System, Economic Research Service (ERS), USDA.
- Egg Industry Information Sources, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Australia, 2001 - A research report that provides information on where to find statistics and data for the egg industry from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
- Global Agricultural Trade System (GATS), Foreign Ag System, USDA.
- Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, ERS, USDA.
- Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: Tables, ERS, USDA.
- Official U.S. Government Avian Flu Website - Provides one-stop access to U.S. government information on avian flu. Also, see USDA Avian Flu Information for USDA-sponsored information on avian flu.
- Poultry Production and Value, National Ag Statistics Service (NASS), USDA.
- Poultry and Eggs, ERS, USDA.
- Regular eggs 'no harm to health,' BBC, 2009 - UK research confirms that limiting egg consumption has little effect on cholesterol levels.
- United Egg Producers - This association focuses on poultry markets and other industry information.
- USA Poultry and Egg Export Council - A nonprofit, industry-sponsored trade organization that provides export services related to trade leads, a listing of international trade shows, and industry resources.
- U.S. Poultry and Egg Association - This trade association represents the entire poultry industry, including producers of broilers, turkeys, ducks, eggs and breeding stock, as well as allied companies.
- 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.
- Chickens and Eggs Annual Summary, NASS, USDA.
- Commercial Egg Production and Processing, Purdue University - Publication designed as an overview of typical layer management and commercial egg production in the United States. It contains text regarding raising layers, hatching and placement, lighting and temperature, feeding and egg collection and processing.
- Designer and Specialty Eggs, University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2000 - A fact sheet that provides basic information about the types of niche egg products such as pharmaceuticals, fatty content and vitamin-enhanced eggs.
- Evaluating Egg Production Hens, University of Minnesota Extension, 2008.
- Factors Affecting Egg Production in Backyard Chicken Flocks, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, reviewed 2009.
- Factors that Influence Egg Production, American Egg Board.
- Guidelines for Prospective Contract Hatching Egg Producers, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, 2002 - This publication provides guidelines for examining the egg hatchery business, with financial, management and other considerations and regulations.
- Management Requirements for Laying Flocks, Virginia Cooperative Extension - A small flock fact sheet with basic production information.
- Online Poultry News - Provides an index to many articles specific to egg production and layer management published by various educational institutions.
- Poultry Extension Site, Purdue University - Provides information on production and management of all kinds of poultry.
Links checked December 2013.