Guidelines for Layer Cages

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Cage benefits

  • Birds are easy to maintain. No birds are underfoot.
  • The eggs on the floor are eliminated.
  • The eggs are clean.
  • Culling is expedited.
  • Broodiness is eliminated

    Layer (Cage vs Floor management)
    Cage Management
  • In most instances, less feed is needed to produce a dozen eggs.
  • More pullets can be placed in the space provided on the floor of the house.
  • Internal parasites are eliminated.
  • Labor requirements are usually very low
  • Improved egg/feed ratio
  • Data recording is easy and accurate

Cage Disadvantages

  • In comparison to the floor, the per capita investment may be higher.
  • High bloodspot percentage in eggs.
  • Bones are more delicate, and processors often discount the price of chicken.

Cage management

  • Cage configuration will not allow birds manure to fall directly in the lower level cage
  • The hen should be able to stand upright, and the floor slope should not exceed 8 degrees
  • Space allowance should be in the range of 67 to 86 square
  • Feeders space should allow simultaneous eating
  • All birds have constant access to clean drinking water
  • Water pressure should be carefully controlled
  • In the dim light, the birds inspected daily
  • No exposure to disturbing noise, visual stimuli, strong vibrations, wild birds, pets or other animals
  • A constant flow of fresh air for each bird
  • Nutritionally appropriate and accessible fresh feed
  • Stand-alone generators and alarm systems should be “mandatory.”

Guidelines for Cages


  • The interior must be designed, constructed, and maintained so that there are no sharp edges or protrusions that could cause injury or discomfort.
  • McDonald’s requires a minimum of 72 square 2 (465 cm2) cage space and a 4-inch (10.2 cm) per-cage front feeder per bird housed

Layer (Cage vs Floor management)
Layer (Cage vs Floor management)


  • Minimum 13 hours and a maximum of 18 hours every 24 hours
  • Lighting patterns must be recorded and available for review
  • Daytime levels of light should be allowed to be inspected without difficulty, and a minimum of 10 lux (0.93 FC) should be maintained throughout the house.

Air quality and temperature control

  • Air pollutants should not reach levels that are particularly offensive to observers.
  • Natural or forced ventilation systems should be designed to maintain the following air quality parameters at the height of the bird’s head:
  • Ammonia 25 ppm
  • Carbon dioxide 5000 ppm (0.5%)
  • Carbon monoxide 50 ppm
  • Inhaled dust <= 5mg / m3 on average more than 8 hours
  • (At these levels, where possible, should be automatically recorded and available upon request)

Food and water

Laying Hens will be protected from hunger, thirst, and malnutrition so that they have access to freshwater and a diet to maintain good health. Feed and water should be distributed in such a way that the hen can eat and drink without competition

  • Food
    Provide adequate nutrition
  • Producers must have a written record of feed nutrients and make them available for review upon request.
  • Food should not be contaminated
  • It is forbidden to use hand replenished feed track system


  • Constant access to clean, fresh drinking water at all times
  • Water should not be contaminated
  • Minimum one number of water nipples in each cage
  • Drinkers will be kept at maximum height and appropriate design


The environment in which chickens are kept should be designed to protect them from physical and thermal stress.

Layer (Cage vs Floor management)
Layer (Cage vs Floor management)

Buildings check

A checklist should be displayed, which shows:

  • Total number of cages
  • Average cage size
  • Targeted air quality parameters
  • Level of light
  • Emergency action in case of fire, flood or equipment failure

Conditions are related to floor/litter quality

Conditions are related to floor/litter quality
Conditions are related to floor/litter quality

Floor Disadvantages

  • Broodiness is often a problem causing factor in floor production housing.
  • Characterized by hen wanting to build a permanent nest and begin “setting
  • The main issues in floor housing are
    • parasitic disorders.
    • outbreak and spreading of cannibalistic pecking.
    • increased feed intake.

      Layer (Cage vs Floor management)
      Floor management
    • misplaced eggs.
    • catching of spent hens
    • air quality (dust and ammonia levels).

 Floor production

  • They are designed for egg-type or broiler-type birds laid for fertile or infertile eggs.
  • This method is used in commercial herds when hatching requires fertile eggs.
  • Three inches of dirt in the nests and 4 to 6 inches of dirt on the floor.

Layer (Cage vs Floor management)
Layer (Cage vs Floor management)

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