Once the top ranking state in the United States for egg production California has fallen, over the last ten years fallen to fifth place.
High-priced real estate and feed, together with government regulations have been blamed for whittling away California’s laying flock numbers, which numbered over 40 million in the early 70’s.
According to Don Bell, UC Cooperative Extension poultry specialist emeritus, California’s laying chicken flock has dropped to about 19 million from 24 million in 2000. And he expects the slide to continue.
“Just about every major egg company has to have a governmental relations employee just to keep up with the legislation. Almost every week you hear about some new regulation that is being imposed on agriculture,” Bell said. “The bureaucracy is getting to be unmanageable â€¦.The problem is that California is not a user friendly egg state anymore.”