The new definition, which will be adopted by UEP to define today’s cage-free hen housing for the industry, is: “Cage-free eggs are laid by hens that are able to roam vertically and horizontally in indoor houses, and have access to fresh food and water. Cage-free systems vary from farm to farm, and can include multi-tier aviaries. They must allow hens to exhibit natural behaviors and include enrichments such as scratch areas, perches and nests. Hens must have access to litter, protection from predators and be able to move in a barn in a manner that promotes bird welfare.”
In a letter sent to UEP members and signed by UEP President and CEO Chad Gregory, it was explained that the board established the cage-free egg definition because there had been many questions regarding how cage-free eggs can be defined. UEP board members wanted the definition to reflect the diversity of housing options available to UEP members, and egg farmers’ commitment to assuring hen health and well-being in all housing environments.
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