FARMERS OFFER CHOICE: EGG TYPES
America’s egg farmers believe in consumer choice and work hard to provide you with the highest-quality variety of eggs, no matter what kind of eggs you choose.
Depending on your preference, you can spend anywhere from about $1.50 per dozen for conventional eggs, to more than $3.00 per dozen for specialty eggs, which typically cost more to produce. Following is more information on some of the most common eggs.
Eggs laid by hens living in cages with access to feed, water and security. The cages serve as nesting space. In this type of hen house, the birds are more readily protected from the elements, disease and natural and unnatural predators.
Eggs produced by hens that have access to outdoors in accordance with weather, environmental or state laws. In addition to consuming a diet of grains, these hens may forage for wild plants and insects. They are provided floor space, nesting space and perches.
Eggs laid by hens at indoor floor operations, sometimes called free-roaming. The hens may roam in a building, room or open area, usually in a barn or poultry house, and have unlimited access to fresh food and water. Some may also forage for food if they are allowed outdoors. Cage-free systems vary and include barn-raised and free-range hens, both of which have shelter that helps protect against predators. Both types are produced under common handling and care practices, which provide floor space, nest space and perches. Depending on the farm, these housing systems may or may not have an automated egg collection system.
Eggs produced according to national U.S. Department of Agriculture organic standards related to methods, practices and substances used in producing and handling crops, livestock and processed agricultural products. Organic eggs are produced by hens fed rations with ingredients that were grown without most conventional pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or commercial fertilizers.
A production system that contains adequate environmental enrichments to provide perch space, dust bathing or a scratch area(s), and nest space to allow the layers to exhibit inherent behavior. Enriched colony systems are American Humane Certified.
An egg farmer’s livelihood depends on the production of high-quality eggs. The production of high-quality eggs depends on nurturing healthy hens. Nurturing healthy hens depends on the right diet, housing, lighting, water and overall living conditions. As egg farmers, we want happy hens on our farms and want you to feel good about the eggs you buy! America’s egg farmers are committed to the health and well-being of their hens and dedicated to providing their customers with fresh, nutritious eggs. Light, housing, diet and health are very important to the production process in order to provide high-quality egg, and therefore, very important to egg farmers.
RAISING HEALTHY HENS
America’s egg farmers feed their hens food that meets the birds’ daily nutrient requirements. The feed is carefully balanced by a poultry nutrition specialist to combine the right amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
- Soybean Meal
REDUCING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
U.S. egg production has significantly decreased its environmental footprint in the past 50 years. Researchers at the Egg Industry Center found that today’s hens are living longer due to better health, better nutrition and better living environments.
These researchers studied U.S. egg production from 1960 to 2010 in
a first-of-its-kind lifecycle analysis.
Egg farms are using fewer resources and producing less waste. Compared to 1960, today’s hens:
- Use a little over half the amount of feed to produce a dozen eggs.
- Live significantly longer, with a 70% decrease in mortality.
- Use 32% less water to produce a dozen eggs.
- Produce 27% more eggs per day and are living longer.