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

Cage-Free Laying Systems

Tackling cage-free layer housing air quality challenges

Giving laying hens access to a litter area for dustbathing, scratching and foraging helps minimize aggressive behavior, but it can result in dust and ammonia problems.
Recent studies have shown that cage-free housing results in six to nine times higher dust in the house environment than cage systems with manure belts.
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Daybreak Foods gains permit to allow expansion

Egg company plans to expand its facility in Lake Mills, Wisconsin
Daybreak Foods was granted a conditional use permit that will allow the company to expand its egg production operations in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.
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Disease challenges of cage-free egg production

Disease and emerging pathogens present cage-free egg producers with challenges that may require changes in operational practices.
A survey of the Association of Veterinarians in Egg Production presented by Dr. Eric Gingerich gave interesting insights into the issues facing producers of cage-free eggs.
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Egg producers predict that cages won’t go away by 2025

U.S. egg producers responding to the Top Egg Company Survey predict that over half of U.S. hens will still be housed in cages in 2025.

As part of Egg Industry magazine’s annual Top Egg Company Survey, egg producers were asked their opinion of how U.S. laying hens will be housed in 2025. Twenty five egg producers, who currently house 144 million hens, answered this question. The average of the 25 predictions was that 52.6 percent of hens would be housed in conventional cages, 2 percent would be in enriched cages and 45.4 percent would be housed cage-free. The predictions for the percentage of hens in conventional cage housing in 2025 range from 15 to 85 percent. The predictions for the percentage of U.S. hens that will be housed cage-free in 2025 range from 14 to 80 percent, and the predictions for enriched cage housing ranged from 0 to 10 percent.

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