ArticlePDF Available

Economic comparison of unenriched and alternative cage systems used in laying hen husbandry - recent experience under Turkish commercial conditions

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

This review provides a comparative analysis on the unenriched and alternative cage systems used in commercial egg production as required by the directive (99/74/EC) of the EU Council on animal welfare in terms of technical performance indicators, distribution of cost items, egg sales revenue, and profitability. Unenriched (conventional) cages are commonly used in Turkey. However these cages don't provide for the laying hens natural needs. The comparison was taken from data regarding Lohmann Brown Classic and Lohmann LSL Classic laying hybrids kept in two caging systems. The rearing period was composed of 399 days starting when 16-week-old commercial pullets were put into unenriched and alternative cage systems and ending at the end of their 73rd weeks of age when laying hens were removed from production. The average shares of the some important cost items in the total cost in the production period were calculated to be as follows for unenriched and alternative cage systems, respectively: pullet 22.17% and 21.17%; feed 61.31% and 58.29%; labour 2.67% and 2.55%; veterinary and health 0.74% and 0.98%; egg packaging 3.23% and 3.48%; maintenance and repair expenses 1.50% and 2.29%; and depreciation costs 5.48% and 8.35%. The average cost of producing one egg was found to be 0.094 US$ and 0.097 US$, respectively. It was determined that investment costs in alternative cage systems was 14.93% higher and the production cost per hen was 2.03% higher than that in unenriched cage systems. In Turkey, on January 1, 2023, all systems will be converted to alternative cages. Investment amounts and production costs for the alternative cage systems are very important in this transformation process. Therefore the present review is to examine the available information on the production data of laying hens reared in the unenriched and alternative cages and to make economic feasibility conclusions under Turkey conditions.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Economic comparison of unenriched and
alternative cage systems used in laying
hen husbandry - recent experience under
Turkish commercial conditions
Y. ARAL
1
*, M.S. ARIKAN
1
, E.E. ONBASILAR
2
, N. UNAL
2
, A. GOKDAI
1
and
E. ERDEM
3
1
Department of Animal Health Economics and Management, Faculty of Veterinary
Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey;
2
Department of Animal Breeding
and Husbandry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara,
Turkey;
3
Department of Animal Breeding and Husbandry, Faculty of Veterinary
Medicine, Kırıkkale University, Kırıkkale, Turkey
*Corresponding author: yaral@veterinary.ankara.edu.tr
This review provides a comparative analysis on the unenriched and alternative cage
systems used in commercial egg production as required by the directive (99/74/EC)
of the EU Council on animal welfare in terms of technical performance indicators,
distribution of cost items, egg sales revenue, and protability. Unenriched
(conventional) cages are commonly used in Turkey. However these cages don't
provide for the laying hens natural needs. The comparison was taken from data
regarding Lohmann Brown Classic and Lohmann LSL Classic laying hybrids kept
in two caging systems. The rearing period was composed of 399 days starting when
16-week-old commercial pullets were put into unenriched and alternative cage
systems and ending at the end of their 73rd weeks of age when laying hens were
removed from production. The average shares of the some important cost items in
the total cost in the production period were calculated to be as follows for
unenriched and alternative cage systems, respectively: pullet 22.17% and
21.17%; feed 61.31% and 58.29%; labour 2.67% and 2.55%; veterinary and
health 0.74% and 0.98%; egg packaging 3.23% and 3.48%; maintenance and
repair expenses 1.50% and 2.29%; and depreciation costs 5.48% and 8.35%.
The average cost of producing one egg was found to be 0.094 US$ and 0.097 US
$, respectively. It was determined that investment costs in alternative cage systems
was 14.93% higher and the production cost per hen was 2.03% higher than that in
unenriched cage systems. In Turkey, on January 1, 2023, all systems will be
converted to alternative cages. Investment amounts and production costs for the
alternative cage systems are very important in this transformation process.
Therefore the present review is to examine the available information on the
© World's Poultry Science Association 2017
World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 73, March 2017
Received for publication April 15, 2016
Accepted for publication September 14, 2016 1
doi:10.1017/S0043933916000799
https:/www.cambridge.org/core/terms. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043933916000799
Downloaded from https:/www.cambridge.org/core. Oakland University Libraries, on 30 Jan 2017 at 12:29:31, subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use, available at
production data of laying hens reared in the unenriched and alternative cages and
to make economic feasibility conclusions under Turkey conditions.
Keywords: laying hen; commercial egg; cage systems; cost; economic analysis
Introduction
In laying hen husbandry, birds are reared in various production systems. Conventional
(unenriched) cage systems are commonly used in Turkey and globally. As rearing and
egg production in restricted conventional cages hamper natural behaviour, such as
scratching, perching and laying in nests, new regulations have been enacted to protect
animal welfare, particularly in European Union (EU) countries. By setting minimum
standards for laying hen husbandry and banning the use of conventional cage systems
in the member countries as from January 1, 2012, the EU Council ensured the emergence
of alternative systems for commercial egg production (Directive EU, 1999).
Major alternative rearing systems used in egg production, such as enriched cages,
aviary systems, and free range, have different technical features (Tauson, 2005; Lay et
al., 2011). Such systems are designed to balance animal health and welfare in accordance
with the demands of consumers and the poultry sector (Singh et al., 2009). Enriched cage
systems are one of the alternative systems developed to remedy the deciencies of
conventional cage systems relating to animal welfare. These systems provide each hen
with a larger usable area, and are furnished with equipment that helps them exhibit their
natural behaviour, such as a nest, scratching area and perching (Sumner et al., 2008).
At the end of production using the most advanced models of enriched cage systems, it
has been reported that they produced similar results to conventional cage systems in
relation to egg productivity, feed conversion ratio and mortality (Abrahamsson et al.,
1995a; 1995b; Guesdon and Faure, 2004; Tauson, 2005). However, a few studies have
reported that average operating costs, total expenses, and investment costs per hen in
enriched cage systems are higher than those in conventional cage systems (Van Horne,
2003; Bell, 2006; Matthews and Sumner, 2015).
It has been reported that the main determinant in investment and economic feasibility
studies for improving animal welfare conditions in enterprises from different animal
husbandry sectors is the producer price levels. This has been determined from
intensive animal production carried out in the Netherlands, and states that the
volatility and precision of the levels of premiums for production are important in
taking the decision to convert to alternative production systems (Gocsik et al., 2015).
Economic importance and assessment of alternative cage systems for
laying hen
The ban imposed by the EU Council has led to the emergence of alternative enriched
cage systems, and the increasing investments in equipment and coop modernisation
needed have resulted in signicant differences in production costs. Various scientic
studies have been conducted on the use of alternative cage systems in laying hen
husbandry (Sumner et al., 2008). These include major factors affecting egg production
in conventional or enriched cage systems (Abrahamsson et al., 1995a; 1995b; Guesdon
and Faure, 2004), and costs for different systems (Van Horne and Bondt, 2003; Bell,
2006; Sumner et al., 2008; Matthews and Sumner, 2015).
2 World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 73, March 2017
Economic comparison of layer cage systems: Y. Aral et al.
https:/www.cambridge.org/core/terms. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043933916000799
Downloaded from https:/www.cambridge.org/core. Oakland University Libraries, on 30 Jan 2017 at 12:29:31, subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use, available at
In a study investigating the effects of cage systems (C: conventional; E: enriched) in
230 enterprises operating in EU member countries, feed consumption (C: 114.97 g/hen/
day; E: 113.82 g/hen/day), egg production (C: 85.76% hen/day; E: 84.74% hen/day), feed
conversion ratio (C: 2.14; E: 2.14), percentage of broken/cracked eggs (C: 6.50%; E:
7.78%), and egg weight (C: 65.09 g/egg; E: 63.01 g/egg) were monitored. These results
suggested lower productivity in enriched cages, but productivity was not a sufcient
indicator by itself to determine animal welfare. The study further noted that such systems
are economically promising when combined with other measures such as early diagnosis
of poultry diseases and elimination of barriers to access of feed and water (Blokhuis et
al., 2007).
Regulations made to improve animal welfare conditions can result in a decrease in the
number of hens raised per unit area in enriched cage systems and an increase in egg
production costs.
The following comparison between hen housing consists of the technical and economic
operating data obtained by comparing the production for Brown (LB) and White (LSL)
commercial laying hybrids which were kept in unenriched or alternative cage systems
(Onbasılar et al., 2015). These data were applied to a 48-compartment battery cage for
each group, and economic parameters used to determine the cost items and revenue items
of the unenriched and alternative cage systems in the production period were set. The
production period was 399 days starting with 16-week-old commercial beak-trimmed
pullets being placed into the cage systems and ending at 73
rd
weeks of age, when laying
hens were removed from production.
Feeding, pullet and labour costs were included in the calculations. The costs of
veterinary and health services included vaccine and disinfectant expenses. The egg
packaging costs included purchasing and materials used to package the eggs. The
water, electricity and fuel cost was calculated by multiplying the unit prices of water,
electricity and fuel by the amounts of water, electricity and fuel used throughout the
production period. Other expenses included the costs such as transportation of the eggs
produced and insurance cost. General administrative expenses were assumed to be 3% of
the total costs. Depreciation costs were based on the assumption that the tools and
equipment used in production had an economic life of 10 years (Sariozkan and
Sakarya, 2006). Maintenance and repair expenses consisted of the expenditures made
for tools and equipment, with 1% as the maintenance cost, and 2% for repairs (Acil,
1980).
Revenues from sale of broken/cracked eggs and hens removed from production were
categorised as ancillary revenues. Sale of broken/cracked eggs was included into the
calculations as the total revenue generated, albeit at lower prices. Value of hens removed
from production were generated at the end of the laying period from average sale prices.
The revenues from sale of eggs, making up the majority of the operating income, was
calculated by multiplying the amount of eggs produced and sold by the average sale price
throughout the production period. The total cost was obtained by subtracting the ancillary
revenues from the grand total costs. Net prot/loss was calculated by subtracting the total
costs from egg sales income (Muftuoglu, 1989). Production cost of an egg was calculated
by subtracting the ancillary revenues from the grand total cost and dividing it by the total
amount of eggs sold. These calculations were used to gauge the effect of different cage
systems on unit cost of egg production (pcs./US$), production cost per unit area (US$/
m
2
), production cost per hen (US$/number of hens) and total costs.
The technical and economic parameters obtained from White and Brown commercial
laying hybrids in unenriched and alternative cage systems in the research unit within the
rearing period of 399 days, and the average prices are given in Table 1.
World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 73, March 2017 3
Economic comparison of layer cage systems: Y. Aral et al.
https:/www.cambridge.org/core/terms. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043933916000799
Downloaded from https:/www.cambridge.org/core. Oakland University Libraries, on 30 Jan 2017 at 12:29:31, subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use, available at
Table 1 Technical and economic parameters for the rearing period and the average prices to 48 cages/
group (adapted from Onbasılar et al., 2015).
Technical and Economic Parameters Unenriched Cage System Alternative Cage System
Brown White Brown White
laying laying laying laying
hybrids hybrids hybrids hybrids
Available Area (cm²/hen) 600 600 667 667
Nest Area (cm²/hen) - - 167 167
Number of Cage Compartments 48 48 48 48
Rearing Period (day) 399 399 399 399
Beginning-of-Period Number of Pullets 1200 1200 864 864
Number of Mortality and Mortality Rate 47 (3.93%) 34 (2.86%) 17 (1.98%) 24 (2.78%)
Number of Hens per Cage 27 27 18 18
End-of-Period Number of Hens Removed 1153 1166 847 840
Average Number of Eggs per Hen (piece) 355 352 360 358
Average Number of Cracked Eggs
per Hen (piece) 4359
Total Egg Production (piece) 425605 422924 310607 309538
Total Production of Sellable Eggs (piece) 421264 419541 306321 301986
Feed Conversion Ratio (feed in g/egg in g) 2.06 1.97 1.99 1.93
Average Cost of Pullet per Hen (US$) 7.68 7.13 7.68 7.13
Average Cost of Feed per Hen (US$) 21.05 19.88 20.90 19.85
Average Sale Price of Cracked Egg
per Hen (US$) 0.049 0.046 0.049 0.047
Average Sale Price of Removed Hen
per Hen (US$) 0.48 0.46 0.48 0.46
Average Sale Price of Egg per Hen (US$) 0.103 0.098 0.103 0.098
Average Cost of Egg Packaging per Hen (US$) 1.081 1.072 1.096 1.090
Average Cost of Labour per Hen (US$) 0.89 0.89 0.89 0.89
Investment Cost per Hen (US$) 16.72 16.72 26.69 26.69
*The calculations made in Turkish Lira ( ) were converted into US dollar using the exchange rate in the
relevant period (Average exchange rate for 2013-2014: US$1= 1.97).
Financial and economic comparison of unenriched and alternative
cage systems used in laying hen enterprises
A study was conducted to investigate the socio-economic effects of animal welfare
directives issued by the EU Commission in 15 member countries state that there are
signicant differences between the production costs, and that these differences are
associated with the cage systems used in production. When the technical parameters
of production in conventional cages (C) and enriched cages (E) (Belgium, Sweden and
the United Kingdom) were compared, the production time (E: 449 days; C: 388 days),
daily feed consumption (E: 114 g/hen; C: 112 g/hen) and pullet cost (E: 3.49/hen; C:
3.17/hen) were found to be higher in enriched cages (Agra Ceas, 2004).
On the other hand, the number of eggs produced (C: 280 pcs./year; E: 266 pcs./year),
mortality rate (C: 6.0%; E: 4.47%), and number of hens raised in unit area (C: 78 hens/
m
2
; E: 49 hens/m
2
) were found to be higher in conventional cages. Variable costs and
xed costs in conventional cages were 73% and 27%, respectively, whereas in enriched
cages the variables costs accounted for the two-thirds of the total cost in Sweden, 70% of
the total cost in Belgium and 79% of the total cost in the United Kingdom (Agra Ceas,
2004).
4 World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 73, March 2017
Economic comparison of layer cage systems: Y. Aral et al.
https:/www.cambridge.org/core/terms. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043933916000799
Downloaded from https:/www.cambridge.org/core. Oakland University Libraries, on 30 Jan 2017 at 12:29:31, subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use, available at
In an investigation of the effect of animal welfare standards imposed by the EU
Commission in relation to cage systems used in laying hen husbandry in the
Netherlands, the production cost in enriched cage systems was found to result in a
cost increase 7.8% lower compared to conventional cage systems, and the reason for
this difference was accounted for by supply of feed at lower prices than average in EU
countries (Van Horne et al., 2007).
Table 2 presents the effect of inputs used in the current comparison for laying hens in
Turkey on the production cost, its distribution in different genotype and cage systems,
and the ndings obtained in the economic analysis.
Table 2 Costs in the production period and economic analysis.
Elements of Total Cost Unenriched Cage System Alternative Cage System
Brown laying White laying Brown laying White laying
Hybrids hybrids hybrids hybrids
US$ % US$ % US$ % US$ %
Feed Costs 25257.26 61.4 23859.90 61.2 18056.28 58.4 17151.94 58.2
Pullet Costs 9210.15 22.4 8552.28 21.9 6631.31 21.5 6157.64 20.9
Labour Costs 1068.40 2.6 1068.40 2.7 769.25 2.5 769.25 2.6
Veterinary and Health
Costs 295.37 0.7 295.37 0.8 295.37 1.0 295.37 1.0
Egg Packaging Costs 1297.46 3.2 1286.50 3.3 1052.59 3.4 1046.74 3.6
Water- Electricity and
Fuel Costs 63.45 0.2 63.45 0.2 71.07 0.2 71.07 0.2
Other Costs 15.23 0.04 15.23 0.04 15.23 0.05 15.23 0.05
A-Total Costs 37207.32 90.5 35141.13 90.1 26891.09 87.0 25507.23 86.5
General Administrative
Expenses 1116.22 2.7 1054.23 2.7 806.73 2.6 765.22 2.6
Building- Equipment
Depreciation Costs 2193.52 5.3 2193.52 5.6 2520.91 8.2 2520.91 8.5
Building- Equipment
Maintenance and Repair
Expenses Costs 601.98 1.5 601.98 1.5 691.83 2.2 691.83 2.3
B-The Grand Total
Costs 41119.03 100.0 38990.85 100.0 30910.56 100.0 29485.18 100.0
C-Total Ancillary
Revenues 769.69 690.55 619.46 736.46
a-Revenues from Sale
Of Removed Hens 555.94 532.54 408.40 383.75
b-Revenues from Sale
of Cracked Eggs 213.75 158.01 211.06 352.72
D-Total Cost (B-C) 40349.34 38300.30 30291.10 28748.71
Production Cost per Egg
(US$/piece) 0.096 0.091 0.099 0.095
Production Cost per Unit
Area (US$/m²) 560.41 531.95 420.71 399.29
Production Cost per Hen
(US$/Number of Hens) 33.62 31.92 34.17 32.71
E-Revenues from Sale
of Eggs 43409.45 41102.21 31565.03 29585.40
F-Net Prot/Loss (E-D) 3060.11 2801.90 1273.93 836.69
Prot per Egg
(US$/piece) 0.0073 0.0067 0.0042 0.0028
World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 73, March 2017 5
Economic comparison of layer cage systems: Y. Aral et al.
https:/www.cambridge.org/core/terms. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043933916000799
Downloaded from https:/www.cambridge.org/core. Oakland University Libraries, on 30 Jan 2017 at 12:29:31, subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use, available at
Table 2 shows that the feed costs in both cage systems have the highest share in the
total cost. The total cost of feed per unit area (US$/m
2
) in the unenriched system was
12% higher, pullet cost and labour expenses were 11% higher, and total cost 7% higher
than that the alternative cage system. On the other hand, the water, electricity and fuel
costs in the alternative cage system were 29% higher, and depreciation, maintenance and
repair expenses 30% higher than that the unenriched cage system.
Furthermore, in relation to the distribution of production costs, it was found that the
ratio of average variable costs in unenriched and alternative cages were 90.3% and
86.8%, respectively, that the xed costs were 9.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The
average variable costs in unit area (US$/m
2
) in the unenriched cages were 10.51%
higher than that in the alternative cages, and that the average xed costs in the
alternative cages were 22.32% higher than that in unenriched cages.
Production cost per egg (US$/egg) and per hen (US$/hen) were the highest in brown
laying hybrids kept in alternative cages and the lowest in white laying hybrids kept in
unenriched cages. These costs in the alternative cage system were in average 3.80% and
2.03% higher than in the unenriched cage system, respectively.
As for calculated revenue, net protability per egg (US$/egg) was highest in brown
laying hybrids kept in unenriched cages and the lowest in white laying hens kept in
alternative cages. In both groups, protability from brown eggs was found to be higher
than that from white eggs. The investment cost in the alternative cage systems was found
to be 14.93% higher than that in the unenriched cage systems.
In a study examining the effect of new animal welfare directives on the
competitiveness of the egg industry in EU member countries and making a projection
for 2012 on the basis of the data for 2001, the production cost in enriched cage systems
was estimated to be higher than that in conventional cage systems. Production cost of an
egg in enriched cage systems was estimated to be 0.63 higher than that in conventional
cage systems (Van Horne and Bondt, 2003). In research conducted on enterprises the
same region in the US, the effects of three different cage systems on egg production costs
were examined on the basis of the data obtained for two production periods from
conventional cages with a capacity of 199,680 hens where each compartment contains
six hens (516.13 cm
2
/hen), enriched cages with a capacity of 46,800 hens where each
compartment contains 60 hens (753.22 cm
2
/hen), and a system without cage with a
capacity of 50.000 hens (Matthews and Sumner, 2015). The study reported that
majority of the costs throughout the production period consisted was feed. Hens
raised in enriched cages consumed more feed than those in conventional cages, and
egg productivity per unit amount of feed consumed in enriched cages was 1.5% higher
than that in conventional cages. Mortality was 5.2% in enriched cages and 4.8% in
conventional cages.
It was found that egg production per hen in enriched cages was on average 3.3% higher
than that in conventional cages, and pullet costs required to produce a dozen of eggs in
enriched cages was 2.7% lower than that in conventional cages. It was reported that
operating costs in enriched cage systems were 4% higher than those in conventional cage
systems, and that the reason for this difference despite lower feed costs was associated
with higher labour costs. The study stated that in conclusion the total cost in enriched
cages was 13% higher than that in conventional cages (Matthews and Sumner, 2015).
The reason of mortality was substantially higher in the brown laying hens in
unenriched cages compared to brown laying hens in alternative cages in the present
study arose from negative animal welfare conditions in cages and more health problems
due to this situation.
With the new regulations being introduced in Turkey, farmers will convert
conventional cage systems to enriched or other alternative cage systems before
6 World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 73, March 2017
Economic comparison of layer cage systems: Y. Aral et al.
https:/www.cambridge.org/core/terms. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043933916000799
Downloaded from https:/www.cambridge.org/core. Oakland University Libraries, on 30 Jan 2017 at 12:29:31, subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use, available at
January 1, 2023 in accordance with the directives on animal welfare in the EU
harmonisation process. The average proportions of cost in the total cost in the
production period were calculated to be as follows for unenriched and alternative
cages, respectively: pullet 22.17% and 21.17%; feed 61.31% and 58.29%; labour
2.67% and 2.55%; veterinary and health 0.74% and 0.98%; water, electricity and fuel
0.16% and 0.24%; egg packaging 3.23% and 3.48%; other expenses 0.04% and 0.05%;
general administrative expenses 2.71% and 2.60%; maintenance and repair expenses
1.50% and 2.29% and depreciation costs 5.48% and 8.35%. The ancillary revenue
was found to be US$730.12 and US$677.96, respectively. The average cost of
producing one egg was calculated to be US$0.094 and US$0.097, respectively.
The present study found that investment cost in alternative (enriched) cage systems
was, on average, 14.9% higher and the production cost per hen (US$/hen) 2.03% higher
than for unenriched (conventional) cage systems. In relation to the distribution production
costs, the ratio of variable costs to xed costs was 90.3/9.7 (9.3:1) in unenriched cages
and 86.8/13.2 (6.6:1) in alternative cages. Finally, the total cost per unit area (US$/m
2
)
used for egg production in the unenriched cage system was found to be in average 7%
higher than that in the alternative cage system.
Conclusions
Subsidies need to be granted to producers to facilitate changes in housing systems, and
increases in price levels will play an important role in achieving the conversion. During
this transformation, it will be essential to research the practices for animal welfare in the
current production conditions and the economic potential of sector investments, in order
to convey the data obtained to the enterprises operating in the industry, as this will ensure
most efcient change over to enriched cages for laying hens in Turkey.
References
ABRAHAMSSON, P. and TAUSON, R. (1995a) Aviary systems and conventional cages for laying hens:
Effects on production, egg quality, health and bird location in three hybrids. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica
A-Animal Sciences 45: 191-203.
ABRAHAMSSON, P., TAUSON, R. and APPLEBY, M.C. (1995b) Performance of four hybrids of laying
hens in modied and conventional cages. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica A-Animal Sciences 45: 286-296.
ACIL, F. (1980) Calculation of the agricultural product costs and development in agricultural product costs in
Turkey. Ankara University Agricultural Faculty Publications No: 665.
AGRA, CEAS (2004) Study on the socio-economic implications of the various systems to keep laying hens.
Final Report for the European Commission.
BELL, D. (2006) A Review of Recent Publications On Animal Welfare Issues For Table Egg Laying Hens.
University of California, Riverside, USA.
BLOKHUIS, H.J., FIKS-VAN NIEKERK, T., BESSEI, W., ELSON, A., GUÉMENÉ, D., KJAER, J.B.
and VAN DE WEERD, H.A. (2007) The LayWel project: welfare implications of changes in production
systems for laying hens. World's Poultry Science Journal 63: 101-114.
DIRECTIVE EU (1999) Council Directive 99/74/EC of 19 July 1999 laying down minimum standards for the
protection of laying hens. Ofcial Journal of the European Communities, pp. 53-57.
GOCSIK, E., LANSINK, A.O., VOERMANS, G. and SAATKAMP, H.W. (2015) Economic feasibility of
animal welfare improvements in Dutch intensive livestock production: A comparison between broiler, laying
hen, and fattening pig sectors. Livestock Science 182: 38-53.
GUESDON, V. and FAURE, J.M. (2004) Laying performance and egg quality in hens kept in standard or
furnished cages. Animal Research 53: 45-57.
LAY, D.C., FULTON, R.M., HESTER, P.Y., KARCHER, D.M., KJAER, J.B., MENCH, J.A., MULLEN,
B.A., NEWBERRY, R.C., NICOL, C.J., SULLIVAN, N.P.O. and PORTER, R.E. (2011) Hen welfare in
different housing systems. Poultry Science 90: 278-294.
World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 73, March 2017 7
Economic comparison of layer cage systems: Y. Aral et al.
https:/www.cambridge.org/core/terms. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043933916000799
Downloaded from https:/www.cambridge.org/core. Oakland University Libraries, on 30 Jan 2017 at 12:29:31, subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use, available at
MATTHEWS, W.A. and SUMNER. D.A. (2015) Effects of housing system on the costs of commercial egg
production. Poultry Science 94: 552-557.
MUFTUOGLU, M.T. (1989) Business Economics (Book in Turkish). Turhan Kitabevi, 3. Baskı, Ankara.
ONBASILAR, E.E., UNAL, N., ERDEM, E., KOCAKAYA, A. and YARANOGLU, B. (2015) Production
performance, use of nest box, and external appearance of two strains of laying hens kept in conventional and
enriched cages. Poultry Science 94: 559-564.
SARIOZKAN, S. and SAKARYA, E. (2006) The protability and productivity analysis of layer hen
enterprises in Afyon province, Turkey. Journal of Lalahan Livestock Research Institute 46: 29-44.
SINGH, R., CHENG, K.M. and SILVERSIDES, F.G. (2009) Production performance and egg quality of four
strains of laying hens kept in conventional cages and oor pens. Poultry Science 88: 256-264.
SUMNER, D.A., ROSEN-MOLINA, J.T., MATTHEWS, W.A., MENCH, J.A. and RICHTER, K.R.
(2008) Economic effects of proposed restrictions on egg-laying hen housing in California. University of
California Agricultural Issues Center, USA.
TAUSON, R. (2005) Management and housing systems for layers-effects on welfare and production. World's
Poultry Science Journal 61: 477-490.
VAN HORNE, P.L.M., TACKEN, G., ELLEN, H., FIKS-VAN NIEKERK, T., IMMINK, V. and BONDT,
N. (2007) Prohibition of enriched cages for laying hens in the Netherlands; an examination of the
consequences. Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI). Report, 2 (10).
VAN HORNE, P.L.M. and BONDT, N. (2003) Impact of EU Council Directive 99/74/EC 'welfare of laying
hens' on the competitiveness of the EU egg industry. Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI) Report,
No. 2 (03.04).
VAN HORNE, P.L.M. (2003) The impact of laying hen welfare on the competitiveness of the EU egg
industry. World's Poultry Science Journal 19: 18-21.
8 World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 73, March 2017
Economic comparison of layer cage systems: Y. Aral et al.
https:/www.cambridge.org/core/terms. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043933916000799
Downloaded from https:/www.cambridge.org/core. Oakland University Libraries, on 30 Jan 2017 at 12:29:31, subject to the Cambridge Core terms of use, available at
... As a result of these researches various microflora which is conditionally pathogenic or on the contrary pathogenic is always isolated. Representatives of opportunistic pathogens are present in each species of microorganisms [10,11]. The family Enterobacteriaceae is no exception and includes more than 20 genera that cause various infectious diseases not only in birds, but also in humans [12,13]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Salmonellosis is an acute intestinal infectious disease that belongs to the group of zoonoses that cause acute toxic infections in humans through the consumption of products of animal or plant origin contaminated with bacteria of the genus Salmonella spp. Salmonellosis is registered in all countries of the world, and our state is no exception. The aim of the research. Monitor salmonellosis pathogens in Ukrainian poultry farms and, on the basis of the obtained data, establish the relationship between avian and human diseases for salmonellosis. Materials and methods. The research was conducted in poultry farms in the North-Eastern region of Ukraine. Test systems from R-biopharm-Compact Dry SL and RIDA®STAMP SL were used for rapid diagnosis of bacterial microflora. To establish the salmonella serotype, the Spectate® salmonella test system was used, which is based on the use of latex strips coated with special antibodies to the corresponding serogroups of Salmonella A, B, C, D. Microbiological examination was performed washing from the walls, floor, eggshell, Brooder's cabinets and pathogens heart, liver, gallbladder of the dead bird. The relationship between isolated salmonella serovars from poultry was compared with salmonella isolated from humans according to the reporting form No. 40 “Zdorov”. Results. Various salmonella serovars were isolated from experimental farms of Ukraine, namely: Serovars such as S. Gallinarum–pullorum – 7.9 %, S. Enteritidis – 6.5 % were isolated from the meat and egg direction. From the meat direction, the following are: S. Tiphimurium – 12.5 %, S. Arizona – 6.0 %, S. Enteritidis – 3.5 %. From the breeding direction were also isolated from adult birds and hatching eggs in large quantities – S. Gallinarum–pullorum – 19.0 %, S. Tiphimurium – 17.8 %, S. Enteritidis – 10.1 %. The following species were separately isolated from the premises of the same farms in percentage terms: S. London – 1.7 %, S. Infantis – 1.5 % S. Bredeney – 1.4 %, S. Tsioque – 1.4 %, S Jawa – 1.2 %, S. Montevideo – 1.1 %, and 1 % each isolated S. Kentyki, S. Abony and S. Oxford. Pathogens of paratyphoid diseases were isolated from poultry and poultry products (S. Gallinarum–pullorum, S. Enteritidis, S. Tiphimurium) for the entire study period from 2016 to 2020 inclusive. Comparing the obtained data from state institutions of humane medicine, it should be noted that there was a tendency for the spread of salmonellosis among people associated with the consumption of poultry products. Conclusions. The obtained results indicate that salmonella infection is quite common among a number of poultry farms of different technological direction. In particular, bacteria of the genus Salmonella were isolated from meat, eggs and birds of different ages from the studied poultry houses in the North-Eastern region of Ukraine. As a result of monitoring of salmonellosis in Ukraine over the past five years, fluctuations in the incidence of salmonellosis among people ranged from a maximum of 74 % (2018) to a minimum of 30.1 % (2020), and for two years, there has been a reduction in cases due to the introduction of new international requirements and standards for product quality control at all stages of production of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system.
... According to consumers' perception, factory farm white eggs were more frequently mentioned by the terms of cheaper price, convenience at the buying time, and origin knowledge. Factory farming continues to grow around the world as a low-cost way of producing animal products because it is connected to the lowest production price in relation to other breeding systems (Anomaly, 2015;Aral et al., 2017). Patterson et al. (2001) had already compared the factory farm white eggs with special eggs and these showed themselves better in the perception of quality and pricing parameters, being found with ease in every market. ...
Article
Full-text available
The choice and consumption of eggs are made considering a consumers’ multidimensional perception, and their understanding becomes essential to the production targeting and the products’ success in the market. In this context, this work aimed to verify the consumers’ perception about the distinct types of hens’ eggs, using a projective technique of completion task combined with presentation of images. A hundred consumers (n = 100) evaluated the main factors, both positive and negative, involved at the purchase time of eggs besides estimating their price. Between the positive factors that guide the eggs’ consumption and purchase, the category with highest mention of terms was “Health,” whereas negatively it was highlighted the category “Price.” Concerning the perception of price, the results showed that the factory farm white eggs’ value was the one that least differed from the average market price, possibly due to the nearness and familiarity with this variety. The methodology of completion task combined with presentation of images proved as being a practical and efficient tool to capture the consumers’ perception of eggs, capable of providing valuable information to the ones involved in the production chain and commercialization of these products.
... In addition, the alternative production system has different relative share of feed in the production cost and technical performance (see Table I) introducing production risk and cost variance that depend on the type of eggs. The main production inputs whose price variability is transmitted to costs are hen feed, labor and energy (Farooq et al., 2002;Sumner et al., 2008Sumner et al., , 2011Matthews and Sumner, 2015;Aral et al., 2017). Donohue and Cunningham (2009) show how the rise in prices of the main feed inputs, i.e. soymeal and corn grains, influences egg production costs in the USA. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to document the level of risk in the Québec egg sector (conventional and specialty eggs) and analyze the optimal choices of Québec egg producers that must allocate limited resources to production of different types of eggs. Design/methodology/approach A quadratic programming approach applied to expected mean-variance models is used to analyze the impact of risk on decision to invest when the resources must be allocated to different type of production that have different risk levels. The model is calibrated using monthly data from 2009 to 2016. Findings Results indicated multiple uncertainty sources (technological, cost of production, price of eggs) that vary according to the types of eggs. Given risk aversion parameters, producer would favor production modes with the lowest producers’ price variance, which correspond to free-run eggs. Results also indicated that in response to a greater intensity of risk aversion, the course of action producers may choose is to increase the relative production of free-run eggs. Research limitations/implications The empirical limits of this research are found in the lack of quality data on producer prices and costs for specialty eggs. Future research could explore the relationship between the growing impact of egg for processing, which price is based on the US price, and its relationship with specialty eggs. Practical implications The findings of the study will be useful for policy makers and managers of eggs supply chain. This is important, given the recent announcement by Canadian’s large retailers and fast food companies to increase cage free eggs offering and, in some cases, eventually only selling these types of eggs. Originality/value This study adds to the understanding of the role of risk and uncertainty in the investment decision of egg producers and different mode of production, as well as in the development of the growing production of specialty eggs in Canada. It fills a gap in the literature regarding the impact of risk in Canadian egg production. This gap is likely explained by the perception of a lack of risk in this supply managed sector in Canada and its small size relative to other supply managed sector.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in production performance, use of nest box, and external appearance of 2 strains of laying hens kept in conventional and enriched cages. Lohmann Brown Classic (LB, n = 532) and Lohmann LSL Classic (LW, n = 532) hens were housed from 16 to 73 wk in either conventional cages or enriched cages. Enriched cages had a nesting area, scratch pad, perch, and nail shortener. Body weight (BW), hen-day egg production, egg weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR), cracked and dirty eggs, use of nest box for lay, and external appearance were determined. Laying period influenced the hen-day egg production, egg weight, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio. Cage type affected the hen-day egg production and feed conversion ratio, while strain affected the egg weight, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio. Laying period × cage type and laying period × strain interactions affected egg production, egg weight, and feed conversion ratio. Both strains preferred to lay in the nest box. Percentages of cracked and dirty eggs of LW hens in enriched cages were higher than that in conventional cages. Most of the dirty eggs laid by both strains were found outside of the nest box. The LW hens laid more dirty eggs than the LB hens. Cage type and cage type × strain interaction were important for total feather score. Final claw length was affected by cage type, strain, and cage type × strain interaction. This study suggests that cage type, strain, and also cage type × strain and period × strain interactions should be considered when alternative housing systems are used. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.
Article
Full-text available
This article reports the first publicly available egg production costs compared across 3 hen-housing systems. We collected detailed data from 2 flock cycles from a commercial egg farm operating a conventional barn, an aviary, and an enriched colony system at the same location. The farm employed the same operational and accounting procedures for each housing system. Results provide clear evidence that egg production costs are much higher for the aviary system than the other 2 housing systems. Feed costs per dozen eggs are somewhat higher for the aviary and lower for the enriched house compared with the conventional house. Labor costs are much lower for the conventional house than the other 2, and pullet costs are much higher for the aviary. Energy and miscellaneous costs are a minimal part of total operating costs and do not differ by housing system. Total capital investments per hen-capacity are much higher for the aviary and the enriched house. Capital costs per dozen eggs depend on assumptions about appropriate interest and depreciation rates. Using the same 10% rate for each housing system shows capital costs per dozen for the aviary and the enriched housing system are much higher than capital costs per dozen for the conventional house. The aviary has average operating costs (feed, labor, pullet, energy, and miscellaneous costs that recur for each flock and vary with egg production) about 23% higher and average total costs about 36% higher compared with the conventional house. The enriched housing system has average operating costs only about 4% higher compared with the conventional house, but average total costs are 13% higher than for the conventional house. © 2014 Poultry Science Association Inc.
Article
Full-text available
Egg production systems have become subject to heightened levels of scrutiny. Multiple factors such as disease, skeletal and foot health, pest and parasite load, behavior, stress, affective states, nutrition, and genetics influence the level of welfare hens experience. Although the need to evaluate the influence of these factors on welfare is recognized, research is still in the early stages. We compared conventional cages, furnished cages, noncage systems, and outdoor systems. Specific attributes of each system are shown to affect welfare, and systems that have similar attributes are affected similarly. For instance, environments in which hens are exposed to litter and soil, such as noncage and outdoor systems, provide a greater opportunity for disease and parasites. The more complex the environment, the more difficult it is to clean, and the larger the group size, the more easily disease and parasites are able to spread. Environments such as conventional cages, which limit movement, can lead to osteoporosis, but environments that have increased complexity, such as noncage systems, expose hens to an increased incidence of bone fractures. More space allows for hens to perform a greater repertoire of behaviors, although some deleterious behaviors such as cannibalism and piling, which results in smothering, can occur in large groups. Less is understood about the stress that each system imposes on the hen, but it appears that each system has its unique challenges. Selective breeding for desired traits such as improved bone strength and decreased feather pecking and cannibalism may help to improve welfare. It appears that no single housing system is ideal from a hen welfare perspective. Although environmental complexity increases behavioral opportunities, it also introduces difficulties in terms of disease and pest control. In addition, environmental complexity can create opportunities for the hens to express behaviors that may be detrimental to their welfare. As a result, any attempt to evaluate the sustainability of a switch to an alternative housing system requires careful consideration of the merits and shortcomings of each housing system.
Article
Full-text available
A total of 1992 ISA Brown hens were housed from 18 to 70 weeks of age, in four different types of cages: 2 models of standard cages (S5 and S6) and 2 models of furnished cages (F7 and F15). These cages housed 5, 6, 7 and 15 hens respectively with areas per hen of 660, 635, 826 and 1134 cm(2). Furnished cages were fitted with a nest, a dust-bath and perches. The mortality rate was higher in the standard cages than in the furnished cages ( cumulative mortality: S6 = 21%, S5 = 17%, F15 = 11%, F7 = 10%; P < 0.001). Mortality was mostly due to thermal stress and the difference between the 2 types of cages was probably attributable to the larger available floor space in the furnished cages, facilitating heat dissipation. The type of cage did not affect the laying rate. In the furnished cages, the percentage of eggs laid in the nest was low, especially in F15 (43.5% versus 68.1% in F7). The percentage of broken eggs was significantly higher in the furnished than in the standard cages ( S5 = 5.4%, S6 = 3.3%, F7 = 7.7%, F15 = 8.4%). The difference between these two rearing systems was, however, considerably reduced when only the eggs laid in the nest were considered in the furnished cages ( F7 = 4.9% and F15 = 5.1%). The percentage of dirty eggs was significantly different between the types of cages ( S5 = 7.7%, S6 = 9.2%, F7 = 10.3% and F15 = 8.2%; P = 0.002). However, in the furnished cages, the number of dirty eggs was reduced when only the eggs laid in the nest were taken into account ( F7 = 8.2% and F15 = 6.7%). We conclude that egg production could be similar in furnished and standard cages if most of the eggs were laid in the nest in furnished cages. This suggests that the improvement of furnished cages should first focus on the provision of more attractive nests.
Article
Full-text available
The conditions under which laying hens are kept remain a major animal welfare concern. It is one of the most intensive forms of animal production and the number of animals involved is very high. Widespread public debate has stimulated the call for more animal friendly, alternative systems to barren conventional cages. Directive 1999/74/EC has encouraged technical changes in current systems. Not only have traditional cages been modified (so-called ‘enriched cages’), but also new alternative systems (e.g. aviaries) have been developed. There is an ongoing need to evaluate the actual welfare status of hens in these novel systems including those on commercial farms.The LayWel project, was funded via the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme and national funding from several EU countries. Its general objective was to produce an evaluation of the welfare of laying hens in various systems, with special focus on enriched cages, and to disseminate the information in all member states of the EU and associated countries. The project took into account pathological, zootechnical, physiological and ethological aspects.A major achievement of the LayWel project was the compilation of a database collecting data from different housing systems and thus enabling data comparison. The project partners recommend that support is given to maintaining the database in the future so that data can be more reliably modelled.As the type of data collected did not often allow a formal statistical analysis the evaluation of welfare was a presentation of risk factors and advantages and disadvantages of various housing systems. Conclusions are that, with the exception of conventional cages, all systems have the potential to provide satisfactory welfare for laying hens. However this potential is not always realised in practice. Among the numerous explanations are management, climate, design, different responses by different genotypes and interacting effects.A second major achievement of the project was the development of feather scoring and integument (skin, head and feet) scoring systems together with comprehensive sets of photographs.It is recommended that the integument scoring systems are widely adopted and used in on-going research. Farms should also routinely and frequently carry out integument scoring to assist in the detection of damaging pecking, which is currently a widespread welfare problem.Within LayWel an on-farm auditing procedure was developed in the form of a manual for self-assessment. The manual first explains what is meant by welfare and outlines the relevance of welfare assessment. It also summarises risks to welfare in the main categories of housing system. The second part contains recording forms, with guidance for assessing hen welfare. These enable regular checks of a range of indicators of laying hen welfare to be carried out systematically. The indicators were chosen to be relevant to hen welfare as well as feasible and reliable to apply in practice.A series of conclusions and recommendations were made on various aspects of housing systems, behaviour, health and mortality and other matters in relation to bird welfare. Full details of these and all other aspects of the LayWel project can be found on www.LayWel.eu. The information is also available on CDROM of which copies are freely available on request.
Article
This study compared the economic feasibility of production systems with different levels of animal welfare (AW) in the broiler, laying hen, and fattening pig sectors. Economic feasibility over a five-year time horizon was assessed using stochastic bio-economic simulation models. The results suggest that the main determinant of economic feasibility in each sector is the producer price. It is not only the level of the price premium but also the certainty and variability of this premium that is important in the decision to convert to an alternative system. From the perspective of the farm, different approaches should be followed in the three sectors to further develop the market for products with higher levels of AW. The results imply that the broiler sector has the best perspective in the short to medium term for developing this market. In the fattening pig sector, conversion options should be made more financially attractive, for example by increasing price premiums or providing conversion subsidies. The laying hen sector has the worst prospects for improving AW in the short to medium term. Therefore, given the current production systems in this sector, producer price premiums need to be increased in order to increase the adoption of alternative production systems.
Article
In two trials, production, feed consumption, mortality, egg quality and birds' live weight of a total of 2877 caged laying hens of four hybrids, Dekalb XL, Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL) and Shaver 288 in Trial 1 and ISA Brown and LSL in Trial 2, were studied during full production cycles. The cage designs were Get-away cages (GA) with 15 hens per cage, a special version of the “Edinburgh modified cage” called “Modified and enriched cage” (ME) with 4 ISA or 5 Leghorn hens per cage, conventional cages of metal (CO) with 4 hens per cage and conventional cages of plastic (PL) with 3 hens per cage. GA and ME included nests, perches and sandbaths. LSL produced significantly better than the other hybrids. Shaver had a significantly lower live weight than Dekalb and LSL, while ISA was significantly heavier than LSL. Production in ME was similar to that in conventional cages and, in Trial 2, birds in ME, CO and PL produced significantly better than those in GA. The highest mortality was registered in GA, where in Trial 2 it was significantly higher than in ME. GA gave a significantly higher and CO a lower proportion of cracked eggs than ME and PL. In both trials ME gave significantly lower proportions of dirty eggs than GA and in Trial 2, the lowest. Few differences between the systems were registered regarding interior egg quality. It was concluded that ME is better for production, mortality and management than GA but similar to conventional cages.
Article
In two experiments, a total of 4346 laying hens housed in battery cages, with three hens per cage (C), and in two aviary systems, both with tiered wire floors and litter (Lövsta with two tiers (L) and Marielund with three tiers (M)), were used for studies on production, egg quality, health, plumage and foot condition, bone strength and bird location. Three hybrids were used: Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL) were kept in all three systems, Dekalb XL (DK) were kept in both aviaries and Lohmann Brown (LB) in M only. Production and feed conversion in M were inferior but not significantly different from C but significantly better than in L. Proportions of dirty eggs were significantly higher in the avaries. No significant differences were found in interior egg quality traits between keeping systems. LSL showed higher production and better feed conversion than the other hybrids and a tendency for a lower proportion of mislaid eggs. Mortality varied considerably between the aviary pens, reaching 35% in LB mainly owing to cannibalism and salpingitis. Keel bone lesions and bumble foot appeared in the aviaries, while toe pad hyperkeratosis was observed in C. Hens in aviaries had significantly stronger bones (tibia and humerus) and showed more wounds from pecks, inferior plumage condition and dirtier feet than in C. LSL had more bumble foot injuries than LB but better plumage condition than DK. The birds used the different parts in the aviaries well, especially the perches on the resting top tier during the night.
Article
Except for conventional cages, the most common housing systems for laying hens comprise deep litter, aviaries and more recently furnished cages. Layers in floor systems may also include out-door keeping. Furnished cages will be the only legal form of cages in the EU from 2012 (1999 EU-directive) but have as yet only been installed in significant numbers in Sweden and partly in Norway, Germany and Great Britain. Climate, feed, bird genotype, group size as well as the legal possibility to beak trim or to use certain medical treatments (mainly against endo- and ectoparasites) or not, are all conditions affecting results with different housing systems in different countries. Offering benefits to the bird as regards increase in behavioural repertoire as well as providing more space, all alternatives to conventional cages, require new orspecial knowledge of management. This is due to the fact that these systems often include higher potential risks in production and health of layers. This especially applies to non-cage systems (Petermann, 2003). The main issues to control in largergroup floorhousing are parasitic disorders, outbreak and spreading of cannibalistic pecking, increased feed intake, misplaced eggs, catching of spent hens and airquality (dust and ammonia levels). Many management practices to reduce some of these risks have been presented including rearing method, medication, vaccination, light intensity, genotype, feed composition, beak trimming and – for improved air quality – the use of spraying/fogging with water or oil as well as more frequent manure removal at closerintervals have been practised. Coming in a wide range of models and group sizes, the furnished cages attempt to combine the benefits and reduce the disadvantages of floorkeeping and conventional cages. The most developed models of furnished cages provide similar production results to conventional cages. However, differences still exists e.g. in egg quality traits between models. Design and location of nests, perches and litter are all important factors.In conclusion, future trends in investments forhousing system in egg production will have to take into account several factors apart from the degree of success from technical development of each system. These will probably involve national directives regarding beak trimming, stocking densities, directives of withdrawal times of medication and occupational safety on one side and national markets and trades fordifferent categories of eggs on the other.