Egg Production

There are nine distinct phases of commercial egg production: laying, collecting, washing, candling, grading, packaging, shipping, selling/storage, and consumption. Laying occurs in the hen house, under controlled environmental conditions. Each hen is typically capable of laying 300 eggs per year. Gathering was originally done by hand and is still done so on some smaller farms. However, with the availability of technology and automated systems collection is typically done with mechanized conveyor systems. Washing sanitizes the eggs and removes any debris that may have accumulated. Candling is the way the egg grader looks into the egg without breaking the shell to determine its quality. This is done with a light underneath the egg that causes it to illuminate revealing the internal composition. This can be done with machinery or with the human eye. Grading is the classification an egg receives. The classifications are AA, A, and B. egg-chart Packaging encompasses sorting by grade and then being placed properly into cartons. Shipping requires a refrigerated truck. Most will reach the store within a day, but can take up to three days. Eggs are kept refrigerated while being stored and sold with “Use-by-dates” to ensure freshness. Eggs are sensitive to heat and can spoil rapidly if they are left at room temperature. Properly refrigerated eggs can last up to 5 weeks. The final step is enjoying the egg itself no matter how it is prepared.                                                                       egg-industry-12