Cage-Free Laying Hens Have Higher Mortality

December 4, 2018

A new comprehensive study of egg-laying hens indicates that bird morality in cage-free conditions is a major challenge.

Good practices in caring for egg-layers and other chickens have become subjects of regular discussion among consumers in recent years. But there are gaps in the assessments of the relative merits of various practices.

The new study was conducted over the course of two years by researchers at three universities and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. In their report on the results, the animal scientists wrote that “Hen health issues occurred in all systems, but hen mortality in the (cage-free) aviary was double that in the other housing types.”

Funding for the research was provided by The Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply (CSES), a group of animal welfare scientists, academic institutions, non-government organizations, egg suppliers, restaurant/foodservice companies and food retailers.

To access the CSES report, click here.