Prop 2 standards lead to less eggs and hens

29-06-2015 | | |
Prop 2 standards lead to less eggs and hens

Since last year both the production of eggs and the number of egg-laying hens are down significantly in California, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Proposition 2 standards, that set minimum cage sizes, have led farmers to decrease their hen numbers in order to comply.

USDA says that Californian poultry farmers produced 311 million eggs in April, down 9 million from March and a decrease of 78 million in April 2014. The production decline comes as an average of 13.2 million egg-layers were on hand in California in April, compared to nearly 16.8 million in the same month last year, according to USDA. In California there were 17.6 million egg-laying chickens in 2013.

All shell eggs must meet standard set by Proposition 2

Many farmers are raising fewer birds in their existing structures to comply with the minimum cage requirements under Proposition 2, which voters passed in 2008. Each egg-laying hen must have 116 square inches in a cage, so it can spread its wings. All shell eggs sold in California must meet the standard set by Proposition 2, regardless of where they were produced.