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The Economics of Regulations on Hen Housing in California

  • Daniel A. Sumner (a1) (a2), William A. Matthews (a3), Joy A. Mench (a3) and J. Thomas Rosen-Molina (a3)

Abstract

Beginning January 1, 2015, conventional cage housing for egg-laying hens is scheduled to be prohibited in California. We consider the economic implications of the new hen housing regulations on the California shell egg industry. Our data show that egg production is more costly using noncage systems than conventional cages. The main result of the new regulations will be a drastic reduction in the number of eggs produced in California, a large increase in egg shipments from out of state, little if any change in hen housing for eggs consumed in California, and little change in egg prices in California.

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