As demands placed on agriculture to meet the world’s growing population become ever greater, sustainability is much more than a buzzword. Today’s egg farms use water and arable cropland more efficiently, while using less fuel, compared to farms 50 years ago. Quite simply, they do far more with considerably less.
Every aspect of the egg production process, from cultivating feed to raising the laying hens, has led to a reduced environmental footprint.
Due to increased feed efficiency, advancements in hen housing and manure management, egg farms now use less water and energy on a daily basis and release less polluting emissions.
A study by the Egg Industry Center demonstrates how the egg community has reduced its environmental footprint over the last 50 years through improved hen feed, better disease control and lower death loss, advancements in hen housing and subsequent reduction of natural resource use. Researchers conducted a life cycle assessment, comparing 1960 and 2010 U.S. egg production to evaluate environmental impacts encompassing every aspect from cultivating feeds to raising the laying hens.
Hens housed in cages under the UEP Certified program use 15 to 25 percent less feed per egg than hens in cage-free or free-range environments. These UEP Certified farms also have smaller carbon footprints due to lower feed usage, more efficient use of natural resources and less land usage.