Hen Housing

Hen Housing

Hens are housed in a variety of ways in Canada and all systems have advantages and disadvantages. For this reason, Egg Farmers of Canada funds scientific research to identify the best possible housing system, for both the life-quality of the hens and from a commercial standpoint. Each system provides a clean environment, fresh food and water, and protection from predators. Indoor housing prevents contact with wild birds that may carry disease.

The main hen-housing types are:

Conventional Housing

  •  Small group settings
  • Equal access to fresh food and water
  • No bullying (dominant hens can bully the other hens)
  • Few injuries due to crushing and landing

Enriched Housing

  • Private laying area
  • Space to spread wings
  • Scratch pads
  • Nesting areas
  • Perches

Free Run Housing

  • Access to the entire barn floor area
  • Forage for food and water
  • Scratch pads
  • Nesting areas
  • Perches

Aviary

  • Access to the entire barn floor area
  • Forage for food and water
  • Open floor and multiple levels so that hens can fly
  • Scratch pads
  • Nesting areas
  • Perches