Perch and nest
Unlike free-range farming, the birds do not have access to the outdoors. The marketing term ‘cage-free’ is often used to describe barn farming.
Currently, 3% of commercially farmed eggs purchased in New Zealand are from barn operations. Internationally, barn farming is particularly popular in Northern Europe.
The Animal Welfare (Layer Hens) Code of Welfare 2012 sets out the standards of care and management for layer hens in New Zealand. It includes specific standards for barn egg farming.
At a glance
- Indoor stocking density (maximum)
- NZ Code of Welfare: 7 hens/m2
- EU standard: 9 hens/m2
- NZSPCA: 7 hens/m2
- Flock sizes
- NZ Code of Welfare: Not specified, dependent on individual farm land size
- EU standard: Not specified, dependent on individual farm land size
- NZSPCA: 5,000 hens per enclosure