Maximum production of top-quality eggs starts with a closely controlled breeding program emphasizing favorable genetic factors. The Single Comb White Leghorn hen dominates today's egg industry. This breed reaches maturity early, utilizes its feed efficiently, has a relatively small body size, adapts well to different climates. These hens also lay white-shelled eggs, the color preferred by most consumers. Because brown-shelled eggs are favored in the New England region, the Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire and Plymouth Rock breeds predominate in that area of the country.
Selective breeding is reinforced by good sanitation and vaccination.