Chickens and Eggs

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

In December, a full survey targeting all flocks in the U.S. is conducted. Inventory estimates are made for all states. In all other months, all flocks with more than 30,000 layers are surveyed. Data for smaller operations are estimated using production trends of surveyed producers. Flocks with more than 30,000 layers account for over 80 percent of all layers.


The Chicken and Egg report is published about the 20th 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. The number of layers estimates for every month to date for the current year are also included.

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Program Content

Chickens and Eggs survey covers number of eggs produced, rate of lay (eggs per layer), number of layers, number of pullets on hand, and forced moltings. Also, numbers of broiler 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 with the prior month subject to revision. All monthly data are again subject to revision at the end of the marketing year.



NASS maintains a list of chicken and egg contractor and independent producers in every state. Operations with an expected inventory of 30,000 chickens or more are surveyed monthly with a reference date of the first. Operations less than 30,000 are only surveyed in December. About 900 operations are mailed a questionnaire and 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 size 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 330 hatchery operations with large broiler-type hatcheries contacted weekly and smaller ones 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

Estimates for Puerto Rico are included in the Chicken and Eggs Annual Summary in February and the Poultry - Production and Value Annual Summary in April even though Puerto Rico is not part of the Chicken and Eggs survey.


Related Programs

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



Last Modified: 05/04/2018