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United States Department of Agriculture
National Agricultural Statistics Service

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  Chickens and Eggs

The Chickens and Eggs survey provides information on the current supplies of eggs and on possible future supplies based on the size of the laying flock, the amount of turnover and/or moltings, number of replacement pullets, and placements in breeding flocks.

Primary data for the Chickens and Eggs report are from weekly and/or monthly questionnaires sent to producers.  An attempt is made to collect information for layer and egg estimates from each known contractor and independent producer who has at least 30,000 table egg layers, flocks of hatchery supply layers, or pullet only operations with at least 500 pullets.  Coverage for operations with less than 30,000 table egg layers are estimated each month based on data reported in December.  Approximately 500 contractors, independent egg producers, and pullet only operations are contacted each month.  Flocks with more than 30,000 layers account for over 80 percent of all layers.  Data for broiler hatchery estimates are collected weekly from all broiler-type hatcheries that hatch at least one million chicks a year.  Data for egg-type hatchery estimates are collected monthly from all egg-type hatcheries that hatch at least 50,000 chicks per year.


The Chicken and Egg report is published about the 22nd of each month.  The report contains estimates of layers, eggs per 100 layers, total egg production, and forced moltings for major producing states, other states combined, and the United States.  Previous month’s estimates are also included regardless of whether they have been revised.  Cumulative totals for number of layers and egg production for the December-November reference year are also included.  Broiler-type and egg-type hatchery estimates included in the report are eggs in incubators, chicks hatched, and replacements for breeder supply flocks.

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Program Content

The Chickens and Eggs report covers number of eggs produced, rate of lay (eggs per layer), number of layers, number of pullets on hand, number of pullets added, forced moltings, and disposition.  Also, numbers of broiler-type and egg-type chicks hatched, eggs in incubators, and replacements for breeder supply flocks are provided.



The industry uses the data to gauge current and future supplies of eggs and broilers expected to come to market.  Producers use the data for business decisions.  Economists and other analysts use the data to monitor the health of the industry and to compute the industry’s contribution to the agricultural sector.



Data are collected and published monthly. The previous month's estimates are subject to revision when late reports or corrected data indicates a different level.  Additionally, revisions after the monthly report will be made at the end of the marketing year and published in the annual reports of Chickens and Eggs Summary and Hatchery Production Summary.  Estimates will also be reviewed for chickens and eggs after data from the 5-year census of agriculture are available. No revisions will be made after that date.



NASS maintains a list of chicken and egg contractor and independent producers in every state. Operations as described above are surveyed monthly with a reference date of the first.  About 500 operations are mailed a questionnaire and given an option to report through the internet.  Nonrespondents are followed up with a phone call.  Imputation methods are employed for operations not reporting using historical data and current data relationships for similar sized operations.  Reports received too late to be summarized for the current month are still processed for the next month and revised estimates may be published based on these data.  Data are collected from about 230 hatchery operations with broiler-type hatcheries contacted weekly and egg-type hatcheries contacted monthly.  Data for hatcheries not reporting are estimated based on prior reports, capacity, seasonal changes, and changes shown for hatcheries reporting.


Special Features

Related Programs

Weekly Broiler Hatchery
Poultry Slaughter
Poultry Production, Disposition, and Income



Last modified: 05/29/13