Older style small group housing system being phased out by Canadian egg farmers.
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Canadian egg farmers have taken a progressive step forward by committing to phase out the use of this older style of smaller group housing system which had been successful in reducing hen mortality, disease and antibiotic use while improving sustainability and affordability.
During their time, these systems were an innovation which dramatically improved laying hen welfare by moving the birds up off the floor, away from their own manure, into elevated, hygienic housing in small social groups.
Despite this system's effectiveness, the small group sizes of six to eight hens, space restrictions and restrictions in the hens’ abilities to engage in the natural behavior of perching, scratching and private nesting – when compared to the ongoing developments of other housing systems – led to a phasing-out of this housing type.