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General Egg Production Questions

Q: What determines whether an egg is white or brown?

A: The breed of the chicken determines egg shell color. The color of a hen’s ear area is the color indicator, with a white or light spot meaning white eggs. Usually, white hens lay white eggs, and brown hens lay brown eggs. Brown chickens are usually larger and require more food to make an egg, which is why brown eggs may cost more than white eggs.

Q: Are cage-free eggs safer than eggs from hens housed in cages?

A: Research by leading animal welfare scientists, academic institutions, non-government organizations, egg suppliers, and restaurant/foodservice and food retail companies shows that housing system type does not influence egg quality. All eggs, regardless of how a hen is housed, are safe and regulated by a number of agencies.

Q: How often does a hen lay an egg?

A: It takes about 25 hours from ovulation until a hen lays an egg. The hen then begins forming another egg 30 minutes after it lays an egg. The average hen lays 286 eggs per year, according to USDA.

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