Egg Production Process Explained: Different Types & Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Egg Production Process Explained: Different Types & Facts For Kids

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If you’ve ever wondered how eggs are produced then this article is for you!

Eggs are a staple in most people’s diets. But how are they produced?

In this article, we will have a look at the process of how an egg is produced before it is ready for us to consume. We will also learn about the different egg production systems and the perfect option that makes the production of eggs cruelty-free. It is very important to know the difference so that we can make the informed choices and pick cruelty-free eggs. Unfortunately, some farmers mistreat the chickens in order to get more eggs.

For hens to be able to produce eggs they must be of an adequate age. Generally, when the hens are around 72 weeks old, their ability to lay eggs reaches a stable level as compared to their younger days, at this time they are able to lay a higher number of eggs. When reared on factory farms, hens are made to produce eggs every single day. This can cause a huge strain on their bodies that can result in the hens suffering from various health conditions.

Keep reading if you are curious to know how the vast majority of birds start laying eggs in their life cycle. After understanding all about the egg production cycle and how are brown eggs produced for a commercial business, also check facts about insect eggs and hatching duck eggs.

What is the process of egg production?

Eggs are produced by a specialized breed of chicken called the laying hens. These particular hens are selected for their high rates of egg production and are very different from the hens that are bred for meat.

Those hens are called broilers. The egg production process is divided into three stages; the hatchery, the growing stage, and lastly the maturity stage.

The first step of this process takes place in a hatchery. The chicks hatch in a specialized facility called the hatchery. These facilities are tightly controlled and highly mechanized. The next stage is the growing stage. It takes about 18 weeks for a chicken to mature. Once the hens grow to the required size they reach the maturity stage.

During this stage, the hens naturally produce eggs and are moved to the lay house. Once the hens are placed in the lay house they are exposed to artificial sunlight to stimulate the egg-laying process. Light exposure plays an important role in stimulating the hens to lay eggs. The light exposure helps to regulate the hen’s hormone levels. Both the intensity of light the hens receive and the duration of the light period are of extreme importance. Farmers provide the lighting in cycles so as to optimize the quality and the production of the eggs.

It takes an egg about 23-27 hours to form and be laid. The shorter the period, the more eggs will be laid. The peak laying period is 25-39 weeks. The egg-laying rate gradually declines when the laying hens reach later stages of maturity. The peak laying period is the period between 25-39 weeks. When the birds are approximately 72 weeks old, they leave the laying system.

In order to improve the quality and size of the eggs, the oyster shells must be provided as a supplement to the laying flock. This supplement can easily be purchased from feed stores located all over the country. A healthy diet and an adequate supply of water play an extremely important role in the egg production process.

What are the different types of egg production?

Most of the egg farms in the United States prefer to operate on more than one egg production system. Conventional and specialty egg production systems are very famous and are used simultaneously in farms.

The main goal is to provide a humane, nurturing, and positive environment for their hens. In conventional egg production, the eggs are laid by hens that live in cages. In those cages, they have access to everything they might need like food and water. The cages are production efficient and at the same time work as nesting space for the chickens.

In this environment, it is easier to protect the birds from dangerous elements like disease and predators. In free-range egg production, the eggs are produced by hens that have free access to the outside. These hens consume wild plants, insects, and grains. They are sometimes referred to as pasture-fed hens. In this production system nesting space, perches, and floor space are provided.

In the cage-free egg production system, the eggs are laid by hens indoors. It is sometimes called free-roaming. Hens can essentially roam around in the barns without any constraint. They can have unlimited access to fresh food and water. Some hens can also hunt for food if they are allowed outdoors. Cage-less systems include barn-raised hens and free-range hens. Both have shelter to help protect the hens from danger.

When it comes to organic egg production, the eggs are produced in accordance with the standards set by the US Department of Agriculture. Organic eggs are produced by hens that are fed rations of ingredients grown without most of the conventional commercial chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides.

An enriched colony is a kind of production system that provides environmental enrichments like the space for perching, dust baths, scratching areas, and nesting space to allow the laying hen to show their natural behavior. Such systems are humane certified.

What is the best egg production?

The cage-free egg production system is the best egg production system in the egg industry. The United States produces eggs in a way that severely hurts female chickens. About 97 % of hens that lay eggs in the United States are confined to battery cages.

5-10 birds are held in these cages and they do not get the required space. According to ‘United Egg Producers' a minimum of 67 sq in (432 sq cm) should be given to each bird. The UEP has estimated that about 15 % of chickens raised at farms do not get the mandated space.

The laying process is seriously disturbed by such spaces. This causes enormous pain to the birds. Nobel prize-winning ethologist Konrad Lorenz once expressed that the worst torture a battery hen has to go through is not being able to retreat somewhere private for laying eggs.

There are two main alternatives with which the traditional cages can be replaced; the barn systems,and the aviary systems. In the barn system, a large flock of chickens is given a whole barn in which they can roam freely. It has food and water in many places. Perches are available, sawdust is there for scratching, and nests are provided where they can lay eggs. 200 sq in (1290 sq cm) are provided per bird which is nearly triple the amount of space that the battery hens get.

Similar to barns, aviaries have many floors which are situated at various heights. This gives the birds an ample amount of space. This makes it simpler for the hens to run away if the flock bullies try to hurt them. Both of these systems allow the hens to go outside. This feature makes them fall under the category of free-range systems. So cage-free is definitely better than caged.

Fresh eggs from the farm.

Commercial Egg Production

The commercial egg production system is the system in which laying hens are housed in commercial management systems. In this system, the laying hens are kept under commercial management systems for the purpose of egg production for human consumption.

However, today’s commercial egg production system is not what it was 30-40 years ago. Today the chickens are crammed into tiny battery cages where there is not even enough space to move or spread their wings. Their waste is so concentrated that due to the ammonia fumes it creates some chickens are blinded. Before they are placed in the cage they are debeaked so they don’t hurt each other by pecking.

A chicken’s beak is very sensitive. Some chickens due to not being able to cope with the shock die during the debeaking process itself. This kind of production is solely focused on the profits of the egg-laying industry. No medical attention is given to the chickens if they require it. They suffer in chronic pain until their egg-laying power slowly and gradually declines.

Their misery doesn’t end here; they are then slaughtered to be sold as cheap chicken and are replaced. This vicious cycle is endless. It is important to be aware of these conditions so the information can be passed on to family and friends so people can reconsider buying these commercially produced eggs.

How Do Hens Reproduce

Not every egg a female chicken lays is capable of hatching into a chick. When chicken eggs are laid they are unfertilized. To lay fertilized eggs, hens require a rooster. The rooster has to mate with the female so that his sperm reaches the oviduct and fertilizes the eggs the hen will lay in the upcoming days.

While ovulation takes place inside the hen’s ovary, the yolk is formed. The yolk releases in the oviduct when it is fully formed and gets fertilized by the stored sperm. As the yolk travels through the oviduct, egg white and eggshell develop around it.

The hen will lay the egg once it has finished traveling the oviduct. For incubating the eggs the hens have to be in the right mood. A hen who is willing to sit on eggs and who regularly turns them while keeping them warm is called a broody. If a hen is unwilling to care for the eggs, the fertilized eggs can be placed in a specially designed egg incubator which will keep them warm and cared for until they are ready to hatch.

An egg takes approximately 21 days to hatch after it has been laid by the laying hen. The laying hen uses 'egg tooth' when it is time for the egg to hatch. It is present at the end of the beak and is used to break through the shell. The chick then pushes out of it. The hen keeps the chick warm once it has left the egg. It will teach them how to find and eat it as well. It will also teach them a number of behaviors that they will require to survive as adult birds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for egg production then why not take a look at do mammals lay eggs, or do lizards lay eggs?

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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