The amount of saleable egg produced per hen becomes even more important as cycle lengths increase along with a move toward cage free.
Producing a quality egg is not only about keeping the customer happy but ensuring that laying hen flocks are profitable. Eggs will be downgraded if they are dirty, cracked or misshapen and therefore command a lower price than eggs for processing. Shell breakage is the cause of 80 to 90 percent of downgraded eggs. The number of cracked eggs will also depend much on the way they are collected, manually or mechanically, and also by which kind of housing system they were produced in.