Egg Farming Jobs
One very common specialized farm in the United States is the egg farm. Like with a dairy farm, the animals are raised to produce instead of being raised for food.
Most common are chicken farms, but eggs from quails, emus, ducks, geese, and pheasants are also farmed in some areas. On most farms, however, you’ll be dealing with hens.
Unless a farm is breeding chickens, roosters are not kept with the hens, so eggs will be unfertilized. However, they still must be collected quickly so that the hens continue producing. Most egg farms collect their eggs first thing in the morning. If the hens are kept in pens, this is a very easy process, which is often automated. On the other hand, free-range hens, which are not confined to cages, make nests all over the chicken houses where they live, and often scratch hay or straw over their eggs. So, the eggs must be collected by hand, which is a longer process.
Eggs that are cracked are sorted out immediately, and many farms also sort the rest of their eggs according to size. However, some farms simple ship eggs to a larger processing plant, where they are sorted for packaging. Most eggs fall into the Medium or Large category, but eggs can also be larger or smaller. Farms that sort their own eggs hire more employees in general.
Some farms also package their eggs and sell them at farmers markets or directly to grocery stores. In addition, some egg farms also breed chickens separately and sell chicks to other farms, so you can also get a job packaging these tiny creatures for sale. Chickens are “sexed” before sale, which is the separation of the males and females, and this process can be tricky for beginners.
Beyond dealing with eggs and chicks, the major job on an egg farm is to clean the pens and feed the animals. If this isn’t done properly every day, the chickens will be susceptible to diseases, which spread quickly among birds and can kill off entire pen of hens. In addition, dirty conditions can pose health problems for workers. In addition, chickens living in dirty conditions will be unhappy, and unhappy or stressed chickens don’t produce as many eggs. So, farmers have good reason to keep their chickens clean and well-fed.
Working on a chicken farm that produces eggs will earn you minimum wage to start, and depending on your job, there’s the potential to earn more as you work up through the ranks. Many egg farms also raise chickens for their meat, so check out the poultry section to learn more about those jobs, since you might be required to do them as well.