In aviary housing, hens have access to the whole barn floor as well as different levels of the barn where they can perch, feed, drink and lay their eggs.
Aviary housing gives hens in larger groups access to floor area in the barn and as well as to multiple raised levels. They are able to perform a variety of bird behaviours including perching, scratching, climbing, short flights, dust bathing and laying eggs in nest boxes.
The hens are housed indoors and, like all housing systems, have constant access to fresh food and water. The large group setting and raised levels presents egg farmers with some different issues to manage in their care for hens, including more social pressures for hens, such as increased aggressive behaviours.
These challenges can be managed and mitigated, but higher costs of doing so means higher egg prices for consumers for eggs since more feed, labour and veterinary care are required and higher mortality rates that can occur.