Evolution of an Industry

Comparing the early poultry industry to today

| October 2009

  • Egg scale
    Egg scale.

  • Egg scale

Editor’s note: This comparison between early 20th century and modern poultry production is in addition to “A Museum Worth Crowing About,” Jerry Schleicher’s article on the National Poultry Museum, Bonner Springs, Kan.

1910: Remember egg money? Farm families sell excess eggs in town for grocery money.

Today: Several dozen commercial egg farms produce more than 90 billion eggs annually.

1910: If you could find them, each egg-laying hen produced about 100 eggs per year.

Today: Hens in commercial egg operations produce an average of more than 250 eggs annually (equal to average per capita egg consumption in the U.S.).