Laying hens are housed in a variety of ways in Canada. Every housing system is designed to provide a clean environment, fresh food and water, and protection from predators. Additionally, indoor housing systems provide consistent temperature, humidity and lighting.
Conventional housing: this type of housing provides hens with small group settings that enable all birds to have equal access to fresh food and water. This type of housing maximizes food safety.
Furnished or enriched housing: this type of housing combines the food safety benefits of conventional housing with the welfare benefits of open housing. Furnishings enable hens to express their natural behaviours like perching, scratching and laying their eggs in a private nesting area.
Free-run housing: this type of housing allows hens to roam freely within an enclosed barn. Hens are able to perch, scratch and lay their eggs in nesting boxes.
Free-range housing: this type of housing allows hens to roam freely within an enclosed barn but also provides hens with access to the outdoors and outdoor vegetation; weather permitting. Hens are able to perch, nest, dust bathe, scratch and forage.