Air Emissions and Animal Agriculture

Laying Hens

Layers are chickens used for egg production. One may think the production of eggs would follow the same regional distribution as broilers, but that would be wrong. None of the top five egg producing states are listed as a top five broiler producing state.

Egg production is distributed north to south across the eastern United States, skipping over the Great Plains states and reappearing in California. Structure of the industry is consistent across the egg producing states. There are a few flocks with fewer than 100,000 hens, but the majority of all layers are housed on larger farms. In Iowa, 98% of the state’s laying hen inventory is on farms with flocks with more than 100,000 hens. In Ohio, 86% of the inventory is on farms with more than 100,000 hens. Of the top five states, Pennsylvania has the lowest percentage of the state’s inventory (69%) on farms with 100,000 or more hens.


In general, these large egg-producing states are
reflective of the U.S. egg industry. Across all states there continues to be a
large number of small back yard flocks meeting family needs and small commercial
flocks for local markets, but the majority of the eggs produced in the United
States are from large, specialized farms.

In the table and the map below, you can see the distribution of laying hen and egg production throughout the country.  



USDA-NASS, 2007, 2007 Census of Agriculture, Maps

USDA-NASS, 2007, 2007 Census of Agriculture, State Level Data by State

Last Updated 09/07/2011