Surveys

Chickens and Eggs

Chickens and Eggs Survey

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.

Flocks with more than 30,000 layers account for over 81 percent of all layers.

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. 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 a year.

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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, disposition, pullets added, and forced moltings. Also, numbers of broiler and egg-type chicks hatched, eggs in incubators, and replacements for breeder supply flocks are provided.

Uses

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.

Frequency

Data are collected and published monthly. The previous month's estimates are subject to revision if 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.

Methods

NASS maintains a list of chicken and egg contractors and independent producers in every state. Operations with an expected inventory of 30,000 chickens or more table egg layers, flocks of hatchery supply layers, or pullet only operations with at least 500 pullets are surveyed monthly with a reference date of the first. Operations less than 30,000 are only surveyed in December. 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 for broiler hatchery estimates are collected weekly from all broiler-type hatcheries that hatch at least one million chicks a year, with smaller broiler-type 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: 05/07/2020