Project details

Organic eggs from small production units - Current and alternative utilization of non-marketable eggs

In recent years, the number of farms with small laying hen populations has increased. This increase has been observed in both the organic and conventional sector and logically also causes an increase in so-called dirty, cracked and S eggs (smallest size), which are not considered marketable.

The study, which started on 01.01.2020, deals with the possibilities of recycling non-marketable eggs from small production units. The common industrial utilization for large laying hen flocks is not an option for small farms due to the insufficient volume. Therefore, in a first step the study will collect information about the current volume of eggs produced and the existing recycling strategies by means of farm surveys and the results will be refined through interviews with experts. In a second step, particularly sustainable utilization strategies will be identified. The study focuses on organic farms (association and EU organic) and conventional farms with free-range management. Specific aspects are then examined in more detail, including the role of producer organizations in the marketing area.

In addition, the study looks at the utilization of old hens. In this context, the conditions for small slaughter batches in poultry slaughterhouses are examined.

The goal of the study is to provide the practice with a selection of possible utilization strategies, so that enterprises with existing laying hen husbandry or new entrants can increase their added value also regarding non-marketable goods.

Project partners are Bioland Consulting GmbH and Demeter e.V., the project is financed by the Federal Program 'Organic Farming and Other Forms of Sustainable Agriculture' (BÖLN). The client is the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE).

Project no.: 



Research | Socio-economics of farm business |


Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE)

Executing Organization: 

Institut für Ländliche Strukturforschung e.V.


Sep 2022

Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Bettina Spengler

Project management: 

Bettina Spengler, Jörg Schramek