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Published on Feb. 3, 2021

The 2021 U.S. Top Egg Company Survey estimates have been released by Egg Industry (WATTPoultry)

The yearly survey, performed by Egg Industry (WATTPoultry),shows that the top 68 US egg producers have added 3 million birds in 2020. When looking to the December 22, 2020, USDA Chicken and Eggs reportit shows that it is estimated that total number of laying hens housed on December 2020 was 325.2 million, which is a decrease of 4.6 % compared to December 2019 ( >340 million hens). It must be noted that the 2021 U.S. Top Egg Company Survey is estimating 20 million more laying hens compared to the USDA.

Going Cage-Free

When looking to the number of cage-free hens, the December 7, 2020, USDA Cage-Free Shell Egg Report estimates that 9.3 million spaces for cage-free hens have been created in 2020 (growing from 70.8 to 80.1 million). This shows that the cage-free conversions have been slowing down in the U.S. in 2020. When looking to 2019, from December 1, 2018 to December 1, 2019, 13.9 million cage-free hens were added. The over 80 million cage-free laying hens does reflect nearly one-quarter of the total U.S. layer flock, which is an incredible achievement in just a few years’ time. The U.S. is by far home to the largest amount of cage-free laying hens in the world. The 2021 U.S. Top Egg Company Survey also shows that by 2025, it is forecasted that still over 50% of the laying hens in the U.S. will be housed in conventional cages.

The top 20 U.S. egg producers

When looking to the different companies, it is observed that the top 10 U.S. egg producing companies did not cause the growth in hen numbers, they even fell down by 1.5% in total share of the U.S. laying hen population, but still account for over 50% of it. This is mostly caused by the closing of one of the plants of Rembrandt Foods (the Neosho (Missouri) egg processing plant has been closed), which resulted in a drop of almost 4 million layers (falling from 11.9 million in 2019 to 7.0 million hens in 2020). The top 5 of largest U.S. egg producers remained unchanged last year.

We have listed the top 20 companies below, for further reading we recommend to read the The 2021 U.S. Top Egg Company Survey, published by Egg Industry (WATTPoultry).

Rank Company Hens (millions) as a % of the U.S top 68 cumulative %
1 Cal-Maine Foods 44,26 13% 13%
2 Rose Acre Farms 27,6 8% 21%
3 Versova Holdings
L.L.P.
20,06 6% 27%
4 Hillandale Farms 20 6% 32%
5 Daybreak Foods 15 4% 37%
6 Michael Foods 13,5 4% 41%
7 MPS Egg Farms 11,1 3% 44%
8 Prairie Star
Farms
10,6 3% 47%
9 Herbruck’s
Poultry Ranch
9,7 3% 50%
10 Center Fresh
Group
9,37 3% 52%
11 Weaver Brothers 8,5 2% 55%
12 Opal Foods 8,4 2% 57%
13 Rembrandt
Enterprises
7 2% 59%
14 Sauder’s Eggs 6,61 2% 61%
15 Hickman’s Egg
Ranch
6,3 2% 63%
16 Fremont Farms of
Iowa
5,99 2% 65%
17 Kreider Farms 5,8 2% 67%
18 Mid-States
Specialty Eggs
5,7 2% 68%
19 Sparboe Farms 5,5 2% 70%
20 Gemperle Family
Farms
5,3 2% 71%
©2021 WATT Global Media

The 2021 U.S. Top Egg Company Survey also shows that by 2025, it is forecasted that still over 50% of the laying hens in the U.S. will be housed in conventional cages.

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