News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.

Cage-Free Laying Systems

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Sustainable Egg Project looking to provide answers for society

Researchers presented some of the environmental, hen health and bird performance data from the first flock of hens in the commercial-scale alternative hen housing research sponsored by the Coalition for a Sustainable Egg Supply.
The U.S. egg industry is at a crossroads; the conventional cage, which has been the standard means of housing hens in this country for decades, has been challenged on animal welfare grounds. At this time, the two primary alternatives to conventional cage housing are enriched colony cages and cage-free aviaries. 
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Cal-Maine reports increase in net income

Acquisitions, higher selling prices help company’s performance
Cal-Maine Foods reported higher net sales and a higher net income for the third quarter 2013 and nine months ending March 2. The results were released on April 1.
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Poultry industry needs, consumer demand topics at Alltech symposium

Breakout sessions will offer broader range of subjects
From problems with mycotoxins and coccidiosis, to opportunities with epigenetics and antibiotic-free programs, Alltech plans to address a plate full of topics that affect the poultry industry, from the hatchery to the dining room, at GLIMPSE 2020: the 29th Annual Alltech International Symposium in Lexington, Ky., May 19-22. New in 2013, Alltech International Symposium delegates will have the opportunity to select breakout session tracks. 
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Legislative, market uncertainty will force egg producers to adapt

State ballot initiatives, customer demands and possible passage of national hen welfare legislation create uncertainty over housing choices for US egg producers.
As the months go by, the uncertainty about housing standards for layers in California and the U.S. as a whole continues. Many egg producers are sitting on the sidelines waiting, some are adding cage-free housing to satisfy a market which, while still small, is growing rapidly, and a brave few have added fully enriched cages and are trying to create a market niche for these eggs. Perhaps the one thing that everyone can agree on is that change is coming and the U.S. layer industry will undergo a major transformation.
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Potters Poultry appoints new technical sales support manager

Harman will be working closely with Potters Poultry distributors to offer a full back-up and service to customers
Potters Poultry International, the UK manufacturer of automatic nests, aviaries, colony cages and rearing systems, has appointed Anthony Harman as technical sales support manager for the U.S.
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Tyson remains optimistic about 2013 results despite near-term challenges

Chicken segment doing well, pork and beef margins compressed
Tyson Foods Inc. told investors at the Goldman Sachs 17th Annual Agribusiness Conference on February 26 that its second fiscal quarter has been more challenging than anticipated due to margin compression in its beef and pork segments; however, the company remains optimistic about its results for the full year.
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Transparency will be the key to keeping hens in cages

The U.S. egg industry has a tremendous story to tell. With the additional measures that have been taken to keep birds free from Salmonella, farms have fewer pests than ever before. The transition from high-rise houses to enriched colony housing with manure belts will provide the best possible environment for hens. The egg industry shouldn’t be afraid of cameras. If your farms aren’t ready for the public to see, then you have work to do. Keeping the doors closed won’t work; the industry needs to be ready for company every day.
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Major UK egg company now serves US consumers

The happy egg co. has brought its free-range production and marketing experience to the U.S. in advance of implementation of Proposition 2 in California.
California Proposition 2’s ambiguity regarding what size or shape cage, if any, meets its requirements has kept many egg producers frozen in the status quo. The happy egg co., a Noble Foods’ free-range brand, has grown and prospered in the UK since its introduction in 2009. The brand was introduced to U.S. consumers in Southern California Ralphs locations in October of 2012.
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2012 Egg Industry Survey: Consolidation continues at top of the egg industry

Cal-Maine Foods’ acquisitions headlined a year in which large egg producers grew through acquisition and lease arrangements with other egg producers.
With 33.5 million hens in lay on December 31, 2012, Cal-Maine Foods ranks number one in Egg Industry’s annual Top Egg Company Survey. Egg producers have had to adapt to record high grain prices, on-farm U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspections, the uncertainty of pending hen welfare and housing standards legislation, and some “creative” enforcement actions by environmental protection agencies over the past few years. All of these factors have combined to fuel a surge in consolidation in the U.S. egg industry, either through outright acquisition or lease arrangements.
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