Click on any of the images to enlarge them


  • 1907 Pauls Agriculture register EGG-EM-ON, the first commercially balanced diet for laying hens (right)
  • 1907 The Fanciers Gazette becomes The Poultry World
  • 1908 National Farmers Union created
  • 1910 Life cycle of avian Eimeria coccidian first described
  • 1914 Poultry World launches “National Eggs for the Wounded” scheme, collecting eggs for soldiers in UK hospitals. This grew rapidly and by Christmas over 200 depots were involved. By 1917, over a million eggs a week were being distributed, both in the UK and to the front line (right).
  • 1916 Robert C Cobb Senior buys the Old Pickard Farm in Littleton, Massachusetts.Cobb’s Pedigreed Chicks is formed (right).
  • 1920s Agricultural colleges formulate improved rations for all types of poultry
  • 1921 Hubbard is formed from a small flock of chickens owned by Ira and Oliver Hubbard in Walpole, New Hampshire, USA
  • 1922 Rhone Poulenc purchases May & Baker
  • 1924 Harlow Bros establish poultry housing business
  • 1928 W.A. Motley of Andover, the “Grandfather of the Industry” starts breeding turkeys (right)
  • 1928 National mark scheme for eggs is introduced by the Government and the Farmers Union as first organised attempts to provide the market with reliably graded high quality home produced eggs
  • 1930 World Poultry Congress staged in the UK
  • 1930 A turkey cost a weeks wages, in 2016 this cost now equates to only 1.7 working hours
  • 1930s First battery cages introduced; extensive systems improved as larger businesses appear
  • 1930s First laying trials organised
  • 1930s First attempts at supplementary lighting to remove seasonality
  • 1931 ILT (Infectious Laryngotracheitis) name first adopted
  • 1934 Thames Valley Eggs Poultry Producers Ltd formed
  • 1935 Babcock started by Monroe Babcock
  • 1935 Calor established as a leading supplier of liquefied petroleum gas
  • 1936 Stonegate Farmers Cooperative formed
  • 1936 Henry A. Wallace establishes Hy-Line International (below)
  • 1941 Henry A. Wallace becomes the 33rd vice-president of the United States serving with Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was succeeded in 1946 by Harry S. Truman (below)
  • 1939 -1945 World War 2, During the war, foodstuffs such as eggs are rationed to ensure everyone receives their fair share, consumers are given vouchers which they use to buy eggs. A new organisation, the National Egg Distributors Association Ltd (NEDAL) is set up to supply eggs. As the war progressed, a shortage of animal feed meant that the number of hens declined, forcing egg rationing to remain in place until 1953
  • 1943 Moy Park established in Moygashel, Co. Tyrone
  • 1946 The National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAAS) established as the advisory and research arm of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) because of the harsh food rationing following World War 2 that continued in the UK into the early 1950s
  • 1946 Creation of Shaver in Cambridge, Canada
  • 1946 The UK branch of the World Poultry Science Association (WPSA) formed
  • 1947 Launch of Accredited Breeding Scheme for layers
  • 1948 Discovery of sulfaquinoxaline, the first poultry coccidiostat
  • 1948 Infectious Bronchitis (IB) first described in the UK
  • 1948 400 American hybrid line females are imported to Scotland by Chunky Chicks (Nichols) Ltd
  • 1948 Houghton Poultry Research Station established
  • 1940s Before daylight control by electricity became normal, consumers resorted to storing eggs in waterglass for the winter to act as a preservative

Egg – Em – On advertising campaign


Eggs for the wounded advertising campaign

Cobb’s Pedigreed Chicks is formed.


W.A. Motley


Houghton Poultry Research Station
Henry A. Wallace with Franklin D. Roosevelt
Hy-Line delivery truck 1930’s
Hy-Line logo 1930’s

What next? The rest is history!

If you have any memories of key moments we have missed, or any errors in the details we have included, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. With your help we can get get this section as clear, concise and accurate as possible.