News and analysis for the global poultry industry.

Cage-Free Laying Systems

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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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DineEquity to eliminate pig cages from supply chains

DineEquity, the parent company of IHOP and Applebee's, has announced a policy that will eliminate the use of gestation crates from its pork supply chain. By 2020, DineEquity will only serve pork products that are produced without the use of gestation crates. 
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Restaurant chain to make egg supply fully cage-free

Au Bon Pain also seeks pork that is gestation crate-free
Au Bon Pain, America's café bakery and a leader in the fast casual restaurant category, announced it will become fully cage-free in the supply of eggs for its menu by 2017.
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