1. Cal-Maine Foods

34.2 million hens

Cal-Maine Foods is a publicly traded company that is the largest producer and distributor of eggs in the U.S. In fiscal 2014, sales totaled $1.44 billion, and approximately 24 percent of company sales came from specialty eggs on a dollar basis and 17 percent on a dozens-of-shell-eggs basis. The specialty category includes nutritionally enhanced, cage-free and organic eggs.

In March 2014, Cal-Maine finalized its purchase of the remaining 50 percent of shares of Delta Egg Farm to become the sole owner of the company. In July 2014, Cal-Maine announced that it formed a joint venture with Hickman's Egg Ranch Inc. called Southwest Specialty Eggs LLC. The new joint venture acquired Egg-Land's Best franchises for the state of Arizona in the summer and later in the year for southern California markets as well as Clark county and Las Vegas, Nevada.

2. Rose Acre Farms

24.8 million hens

Rose Acre Farms is a family-owned egg farm and is the second-largest egg producer in the U.S. Affiliated and subsidiary corporations include Rose Acre Farms International, Marshall Egg Products, Johnson County Egg Farm and NEPCO Egg of Georgia.

In October 2014, the company announced its intention to build an $80 million egg complex in La Paz County, Arizona. This 3 million-hen complex will be the company's first in Arizona. The project includes an inline layer facility, pullet farms, a new rail line spur and a feed milling operation.

Rose Acre also broke ground for construction of what is reported to be a 14-house inline layer complex in Red River County, Texas, in October 2014. No further details were released regarding this complex.

3. Rembrandt Enterprises

14.5 million hens

Rembrandt Enterprises is privately held and focuses on producing egg products for the foodservice and ingredients industries. In November 2013, the company announced that it formed a joint venture with American Dehydrated Foods, called IsoNova Technologies. IsoNova serves the petfood and animal protein industries. Rembrandt has been actively expanding its cage-free business since 2010.

The company is the third-largest producer of eggs in the U.S. and is one of the largest egg products and egg ingredient suppliers in the world.

4. Daybreak Foods

13.5 million hens

Daybreak Foods Inc. is privately held and is headquartered on Lake Mills, Wisconsin. The company has operations in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, Estherville and Graettinger, Iowa, and Marysville, Ohio. Daybreak Foods produces shell eggs and egg products.

5. Trillium Farm Holdings

11.4 million hens

Trillium Farm Holdings is privately held by two farming families in Ohio. The company has announced that it is in the process of increasing its laying flock to 13 million hens. Trillium Farm Holdings produces shell eggs and egg products.

6. Michael Foods

11.33 million hens

Michael Foods Inc. is a leading food processor and distributor with business in egg products as well as refrigerated grocery and potato products, with net sales exceeding $1.5 billion. The company is the largest supplier of processed eggs worldwide. It includes several subsidiaries and markets under several brands, including Simply Potatoes, Abbotsford Farms, M.G. Waldbaum, All Whites, Crystal Farms, Better's Eggs and Simply Potatoes Diner's Choice.

Michael Foods markets egg products in the U.S. and internationally. The company was sold by GS Capital Partners to Post Holdings Inc. in June 2014 for $2.45 billion.

7. Hillandale Farms

9.0 million hens

Hillandale Farms is one of the United States' leading suppliers of shell eggs. With production facilities in the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast, Hillandale Farms supplies retailers and distributors throughout the eastern half of the United States with conventionally produced shell eggs, organic eggs, Omega-3-enhanced eggs, eggs from hens fed GMO-free diets and eggs from cage-free and free-range hens. Hillandale also markets its own brand of cheeses and butter.

8. Center Fresh Group

8.75 million hens

Center Fresh Group is owned by a group of eight Iowa farm families. The company is comprised of five divisions involved in egg production: Center Fresh Egg Farm, Sioux County Egg Farm, Hawkeye Pride, Sioux County Pullets and Center Fresh Africa-Mozambique. The U.S. farms are located in Iowa and Ohio.

9. Midwest Poultry Services LP

8.5 million hens

Midwest Poultry Services LP is an Indiana-based shell egg producer for the retail market. Read about the company's cage-free operations.

10. Centrum Valley Farms LP

7.5 million hens

Centrum Valley Farms was founded in April 2011 as a partnership between the Dean and Boomsma families, who acquired and improved existing egg production facilities in Iowa. The company is now a leading producer of shell eggs and liquid egg products.

11. Weaver Brothers

7.5 million hens

Weaver Brothers is a third-generation-led family farm operation still owned and managed by the founding family. The company offers cage-free and organic egg options.

In December 2014, Weaver Brothers created a joint venture with Cooper Farms through a 50-50 purchase of the Perham Egg facility in Fort Recover, Ohio. The Perham facility had just opened in July 2014. The joint venture, which is called CW Egg Products, produces liquid egg products. The new owners have indicated that they will increase production at the facility and add layers to support this expansion.

12. Hickman's Egg Ranch

7.3 million hens

Hickman’s Family Farms is the largest shell egg producer west of the Rockies. In December 2014, the company announced that it would add 300,000 cage free hens through its partnership with Colorado Egg of Hudson, Colorado. Initially, the new cage-free flocks will be certified organic.

In July 2014, Cal-Maine announced that it formed a joint venture with Hickman's Egg Ranch Inc. called Southwest Specialty Eggs LLC. The new joint venture acquired Egg-Land's Best franchises for the state of Arizona in the summer and later in the year for southern California markets, and Clark county and Las Vegas, Nevada.

13. Sparboe Farms

7.25 million hens

Sparboe Farms is headquartered in Litchfield, Minnesota. The company produces eggs in Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado. Subsidiary Sparboe Foods operates a 320,000-square-foot egg-breaking and processing facility in Iowa. The company also owns Agri-Tech, which provides cost-effective nutrition, management services and low inclusion vitamin-trace mineral premixes to the U.S. and international egg production industries.

14. Herbruck's Poultry Ranch

6.6 million hens

Herbruck's Poultry Ranch is Michigan's largest egg farm, repotedly producing 60 percent of Michigan's eggs. As a fully integrated business, Herbruck's is involved in breeding, agriculture, feed production and fertilizer production. The company also partners with 25 small farms to produce organic and cage-free eggs.

15. Moark LLC

6.5 million hens

Moark is the layer division of Land O'Lakes. After three years of significant operating losses, Land O'Lakes revealed in its 2013 annual report that it was looking to divest the company. In May 2014, the company's Midwest operations were sold to a newly created company, Opal Foods, and its Western operations were sold to the Southern California Egg Cooperative.

Moark continues to operate its Eastern Division which is based in Borzah, Connecticut, and Turner, Maine.

16. Fremont Farms of Iowa LLP

6.4 million hens

Fremont Farms of Iowa is an egg producer specializing in processing of liquid egg products. The company was formed in 1998.

17. ISE America Inc.

6.02 million hens

ISE America Inc. is a totally integrated egg-laying and production operation. The company is a subsidiary of ISE Inc. which is headquartered in Japan. ISE Inc. entered the chicken genetics and breeding industries in Japan in 1912. As part of the company's continued research into uses for eggs in the human diet, the ISE Egg, a lower-cholesterol egg, was developed and was marketed beginning in 1989.

18. Opal Foods LLC

5.4 million hens

Opal Foods, an entity created by AGR Partners, was launched in May 2014 with the acquisition of Moark's Midwest operations. Opal Foods’ began with 5.6 million laying hens at farms in Missouri and Colorado, as well as a new farm in Neosho, Missouri. The Neosho farm eventually will be home to 800,000 cage-free hens, which will bring the company’s total hen head count to more than 6 million.

Opal Foods reported that many of the purchased farms had recently been renovated to comply with California’s future production standards, and some are among the most modern in the country. Opal Foods is a franchisee of Eggland’s Best and continues serving the same customers. The company expects annual sales in excess of $200 million.

19. Sunrise Farms Inc.

5.0 million hens

Sunrise Farms Inc. is an Iowa egg producer owned by Sonstegard Foods. The parent company produces and markets shell eggs as well as liquid, frozen and powdered egg products. Sonstegard Food group is a third-generation family-owned company and it has operations in six states.

20. Kreider Farms

4.9 million hens

Kreider Farms supplies shell eggs to supermarkets and wholesalers in the northeastern United States. The company is the largest egg producer in Pennsylvania with facilities in Mount Joy, Manheim, Middletown and Mount Pleasant. Kreider Farms is also a dairy producer, bottling its own milk and producing ice cream. Company outreach efforts include actual and virtual consumer farm tours.

21. Wabash Valley Produce

4.9 million hens

Wabash Valley Produce Inc. is headquartered in Dubois, Indiana. The company produces shell eggs and liquid egg products. Wabash Valley Produce is owned by the Seger family, who also own one of the United States’ largest turkey integrators and processors, Farbest Foods.