Iowa State University is working with agricultural groups around the nation to determine the most sustainable hen-housing system. Joining ISU are groups from Michigan State University, University of California, Davis and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Coalition For Sustainable Egg Supply (CSES) funded this $6 million study in order to assess the environmental impact, food safety, worker safety, animal health and well-being and food affordability of three popular systems of hen-housing.
These systems are conventional cage housing (the most popular method in the U.S.), enriched cage housing (larger cages than the conventional cages, with perches and nesting areas) and cage-free aviary (hens are free to move on the building’s floor).
This study will occur over three years, and the CSES hopes their results will lead to egg production companies adopting improved practices:
This research will help food companies and other organizations make independent, informed purchasing decisions that are ethically grounded, scientifically verified, economically viable and ultimately in alignment with the desires of consumers.