Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Genuine free range egg production is more labour-intensive than cage farming
A panel forum at the US Egg Industry Center in Arizona with representatives from four major egg producers has said that all cage-free housing systems require at least three times more labour to manage than cage facilities. That is no surprise to anyone in the industry, after all the major reason for the introduction of cages was to produce cheap eggs with lower labour inputs. Cage-free farms, with hens kept in sheds are really half-way houses. The hens are still confined – just not in cages. The businesses still enjoy the cost benefits of scale. Genuine free range farms where the hens have unrestricted access to pasture and have low stocking densities are significantly more labour intensive with smaller flocks and hence are more costly to operate.