Initial situation

The demand for table eggs is subject to strong seasonal fluctuations. The periods before Easter and Christmas are usually the high season and the lowest demand is in the summer. However, in addition to these periods, the demand is also dependent on many different factors. For instance, pricing, holiday times or the weather have a strong influence. Apart from Christmas which is held at the same time every year, Easter and the holidays normally move by several weeks depending on the year.


Dealers strive to be able to provide their customers with the volumes they require at all times. But they do not always succeed in doing so, which can be seen in the development of prices for fresh eggs. It is noticeable that the prices are subject to strong fluctuations over the course of a year. The reason is to be found in the development of an overproduction or underproduction of eggs.


The fluctuations in demand and the associated price development mean that it is decisive for every dealer to have the ideal quantity of eggs available wherever possible. Various options are available. The increasing laying performance curve of a hen leads to the question when the ideal time is to house each flock in and out. The goal is to have as many flocks as possible with maximum performance available before Easter and Christmas. Another option is to have a longer idle time between two rotations in the summer when there are no birds at the producer.


In addition to the correct prediction of demand, the planning of the individual producers is the greatest challenge in practice. Particularly with a high number of producers or different contractual agreements regarding the duration of rotation, the task becomes very complex. Good results are difficult to achieve if you do not have a lot of experience and time. It is virtually impossible if the period of rotation duration and idle time is longer than a year because the housing-in and housing-out of the laying hens have to be continuously pushed back. You can thus only take the peak times into consideration to a limited extent. In addition, the impact of changes on future years is difficult to estimate.