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Ken Anderson

Professor — Commercial Layer and Small Flock Management

Director of Graduate Programs

Scott Hall 237


Dr. Kenneth Anderson earned his bachelor’s from Southern Illinois University and his master’s and Ph.D. from Kansas State University. His research program focuses on layer management, examining the interplay of genetics and the environment with the physiological response of hens, then correlating that interplay to hen behavior  and shell egg safety. He serves as director of the North Carolina Layer Performance and Management Program working in all aspects of layer husbandry and HPAI Control. In 2020 he was elected Fellow of the Poultry Science Association, the highest honor open to PSA members.

Animal Welfare and Management

As the Director of the North Carolina Layer Performance and Management Program and investigator on the associated test, I am providing the tool to address current industry production concerns.  This extension program has been ongoing since 1958 in cooperation with the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services along with the Primary Breeders of Commercial Egg Strains.  Thirty-eight flocks have been completed and a major facility remodel is underway.  The initial purpose of the test was to provide strain evaluations in a common environment to the producers in North Carolina.  However, in recent years, the test and the support it provides have given the industry an avenue to examine common problems with the housing alternative environments and management of the different strains of leghorns available.  There are two other tests in the world but this test is the only one of its type, scope, and distribution remaining in the world. The NCLP&MT reports are sent to all the producers in North Carolina and an additional 230 reports are sent to producers, industry representatives, and academics throughout the US and 16 different countries.  In 2012 every report published was posted onto the internet and an historical summary of the first 37 tests was compiled. The primary breeders and egg companies are utilizing the test in increasing intensity to compare and evaluate the strains and the different environments imposed on them.


B.S. Animal Ind. and Agricultural Ind. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 1980

M.S. Poultry Production and Management Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 1987

Ph.D. Poultry Production and Management Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 1990

Area(s) of Expertise

Dr. Anderson works with the North Carolina Layer Performance and Management Test to enhance and address layer research to examine the interaction of management, environments and egg quality related issues.

Research interests include

  • management of commercial laying flocks in range , cage-free, enriched colony and cage systems,
  • influence of feed ingredient on nutrient composition of eggs,
  • influence of production systems on egg quality, safety, and nutrient composition,
  • microbiological integrity (health) of laying flocks,
  • animal welfare as impacted by housing, management and molting techniques,
  • forage management in range,
  • regulatory impact on layer industry and
  • mass depopulation in FAD situations.


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