A team set up by Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to review the living conditions of hens in the country intends to increase the living space in a chicken coop from 0.35 square meters per egg-laying hen to 0.55 square meters as part of the ongoing reforms in the sector.

According to a news report, the 60% increase would further be expanded to 0.75 square meters or by another 11.5% after 2012. This would bring the poultry breeding conditions in the country to the level of standards prevalent in the European Union, the team suggested.

The overall investment this plan would entail is expected to rise from around US$104 million (400 million shekels) to US$120 million. For poultry farmers, particularly, the increase in investment would be around 30 million shekels. The state has agreed to finance 40% of the investment in areas of conflict and 20% in the center of the country.

The team further recommended continuing the use of cage coops instead of free-range coops for keeping hens. This would not only prevent higher mortality rates of the birds and contamination of eggs, it would also obviate the need to build expensive free-range coops.