Fun Facts About the Sunny Side of Chicken Eggs in America

Millions of Americans enjoy eggs for breakfast. But how many Americans know how many eggs are produced each year, or what the world record is for omelette-making? In this blog, we’ll feed your curiosity and hopefully leave you with a greater appreciation for egg production.

Egg Production and Consumptions

  • In January 2018, the U.S. had 328 million commercial laying hens.
  • Iowa is the top egg producing state with 55,883 hens.
  • In 2019, the per capita consumption of eggs was 287.1. 
  • Each laying hen produces an average of 289 eggs per year. 

Top States for Egg Production, 2018

  1. Iowa
  2. Indiana
  3. Ohio
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Texas
  6. Georgia
  7. Michigan
  8. Arkansas
  9. North Carolina
  10. California

According to United Egg Producers, “The five largest shell egg-producing states are home to approximately 45 percent of all laying hens in the U.S., and the top 10 states comprise 64.8% of egg production.”

Housing Environments and Changes in Production Practices

Egg producers in the U.S. are responding to the demands of consumers for cage-free and organic eggs. In March 2019, there were 16.9 million Certified Organic hens, 43.8 million Cage-free hens, and 2375.4 million conventional laying hens. The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service projects that by 2026, 71% of U.S. hens must be in cage-free production to meet demand. In March 2019, only 13.3% of hens were raised in cage-free environments.  

Utilization of Eggs Produced in the U.S.

According to data from the USDA, eggs produced in the U.S. in 2018 were utilized in a variety of ways:

  • Retail Shell Eggs – 59.5% or 157.6 million cases
  • Further Processing – 30.3%  or 80.1 million cases
  • Food Service Shell Eggs – 7.4% or 19.6 million cases
  • Exports – 2.8% of 7.4 million cases

* One case is 30 dozen eggs.

** Further Processing refers to eggs used for products in foodservice, manufacturing, retail and export. 

Fun Facts

  • To test if an egg is raw or hard-cooked, try spinning it. If the egg wobbles it is raw. If it spins easily, it is hard-cooked.
  • Yolk color depends on the diet of the hen.
  • Eggs age more in one day at room temperature than if they are held in a refrigerator for a week.
  • A hen takes 24-26 hours to produce one egg.
  • Hens produce larger eggs as they grow older.
  • Howard Helmer is the king of omelettes: he holds three Guinness World Records for omelette making. His magic skill? He can make 427 two-egg omelettes in 30 minutes.