The worldwide poultry industry is huge. Here is a report on the recent numbers just from the USA:
Exports of U.S. poultry, eggs, and related products surpassed $4 billion for the first time in 2007, according to the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC). Total worldwide sales last year of all poultry and egg products, including poultry meat, live poultry, table and hatching eggs, processed egg products, and other products such as feathers and down, reached $4.0167 billion, nearly 40 percent over 2006, said USAPEEC, citing year-end data compiled by the Foreign Agricultural Service of USDA.
Meanwhile, here at Little Pond Farm, my 15 hens have laid 87 eggs so far this month. Enough for me to splurge and have Salmon and Asparagus Quiche for dinner, hard-cooked eggs for snacks, French Toast, pudding, and more. Recipes can be found in my Farmstead Egg Cookbook, though all of these recipes are so easy that after you’ve done them once, you can do them again with your eyes closed.
By next month, the girls will be laying so many eggs that I’ll have enough to sell to my neighbors. There’s a need for big farms to supply food to the world, and I’m a realist about the necessity of large-scale agriculture. (I’m not a localvore – I’ll have to blog on that in the future.) But, how delightful it is to have eggs from my backyard hens and to be able to sell them within my community.