The Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply has awarded $6 million to support research on the sustainability of laying hen housing in the U.S.
Michigan State University and the University of California, Davis, will participate in the three-year “CSES Laying Hen Housing Research Project,” which will explore the interactions and tradeoffs among food safety, worker safety, environmental impact, hen health and welfare and food affordability aspects of three different housing systems. Information generated by the research, which will focus on conventional cage housing, enriched cage housing and a cage-free aviary system, is expected to help egg purchasers and producers make objective, science-based decisions as the egg industry evolves in response to consumer needs and desires.
“Our goal is to thoroughly understand the full range of sustainability factors," said Dr. Janice Swanson, director of animal welfare and professor of animal science at Michigan State University. "This multi-year study will examine seasonal shifts, bird lifecycles, bird health and behavior, environmental impacts, human health and other factors affecting the sustainability of the egg production system.” Additional cooperating research institutions include Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.