“All future expansion at any of our farms will only be with chickens housed in a cage-free environment,” Gary Bethel, chief executive of Hillandale Farms, said in a press release. “As our existing facilities age, they will be replaced with cage-free barns, as well.”
The company stated that using cage-free systems is a practice that is “considered progressive by today’s consumers.”
Cage-free facilities to be completed in 2017
Construction is underway in Ohio and Connecticut for new cage-free chicken houses that will begin housing birds later in 2016 to meet customer demand. The first cage-free facility is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2017 in Hicksville, Ohio, and the second facility in Bozrah, Connecticut, will be completed soon thereafter.
In addition to the new egg-laying farms, Hillandale Farms, is also implementing cage-free systems in its New England and Ohio pullet houses, which grow the chickens from day-old to mature laying hens.
One of the largest suppliers of shell eggs in the United States, Hillandale Farms has production facilities in the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast and supplies retailers and distributors throughout the eastern U.S. According to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, the company houses 12.5 million hens.