What is free-range egg production?

When chickens are said to be raised free-range, they should have access to the outside, and actually use it. In the photo the hens do not have a house with walls, so they are outside 24 hours a day. They do have a place they can get under to sleep at night and get away from the weather. Predators can be a problem though, since there is no protection from coyotes, hawks, or other animals that like to eat chickens. It is also important that the hens learn to lay in the nest boxes and the nest boxes are kept clean. Otherwise the eggs will get dirty which can be a food safety problem.


How are eggs produced in the United States?

What are cage-free or free-roaming hens?

Why do they put hens in cages?


Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky