There is increased demand from consumers for eggs that are more humanely produced, which is part of a growing concern about animal welfare in general. California recently enacted Proposition 2, which tackles animal confinement; that legislation is having a ripple effect on the egg industry across the nation. With some producers moving away from traditional chicken cages (because of legislation and consumer demand), the search is on for what’s next. The challenge? Balancing animal welfare concerns with economic efficiency.

Dan Charles (@nprDanCharles) reports for NPR The Salt:


“The conventional cage system is not going to be the system of the future,” says Janice Swanson, a professor of animal behavior and welfare at Michigan State University and co-director of the chicken housing study.

The transition away from cages, in fact, is already underway. “Very few conventional cage systems are being installed” on egg farms these days, says Joy Mench, a professor of animal science at the University of California, Davis, the study’s other co-director.




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