Cage-free eggs are laid by hens that are able to roam vertically and horizontally in indoor houses, and have access to fresh food and water. Cage-free systems vary from farm-to-farm, and can include multi-tier aviaries. They must allow hens to exhibit natural behaviors and include enrichments such as scratch areas, perches and nests. Hens must have access to litter, protection from predators and be able to move in a barn in a manner that promotes bird welfare.learn more
Have questions about hen care, egg production, UEP Certified standards, or carbon footprint of eggs? Check our Frequently Asked Questions.learn more
Egg farmers are committed to providing the best care possible for their hens. To demonstrate this commitment, United Egg Producers (UEP) developed guidelines for optimal hen well-being – guidelines that are backed by decades of research and recommendations from an independent Scientific Advisory Committee. UEP Certified established guidelines for conventional cage housing in 2002 and for cage-free in 2006.
More than 85 percent of eggs produced in the U.S. come from farms that voluntarily participate in UEP Certified, choosing to open their farms to independent auditors. Eggs from certified farms feature the UEP Certified seal on the egg carton.
United Egg Producers (UEP) is a cooperative of U.S. egg farmers working collaboratively to address legislative, regulatory and advocacy issues impacting the industry through active farmer-member leadership, a unified voice and partnership across the agriculture community. UEP’s farmer-members work to provide for the health and well-being of their birds; to produce safe, nutritious, high-quality eggs; and to manage their farms responsibly with best on-farm management practices. Leadership of and participation in the UEP Certified program by the vast majority of egg producers further demonstrates a broad commitment to the care of egg-laying hens. UEP also manages the national Egg Safety Center, a leading resource for consumer and industry information on the safe production of eggs and prevention of disease. Formed in 1968, UEP members represent 95 percent of US egg production.
Nearly 20 years ago, in 1999, UEP convened an independent, unpaid Scientific Advisory Committee to evaluate egg-laying hen well-being standards, review existing research, conduct new research and recommend changes for egg farms. The first recommendations from this advisory committee became the foundation for UEP Certified. The advisory committee continues today, for ongoing review of new research and modern egg farm standards.advisory committee
Even though the calendar says that it’s almost spring – it certainly doesn’t feel like spring right now in many parts of the U.S. In midst of blizzards, thunderstorms and other extreme weather, how do farmers keep their animals safe, warm and healthy? Safety authori ties tell us to cope with harsh weather by staying indoors as much as […]
U.S. egg farmers have employed strict biosecurity measures for decades to keep their flocks healthy and protect hens from disease. Many egg farms have enhanced their biosecurity in recent years as more is learned about transmission of diseases that can harm birds. While no two egg farms are exactly alike, shown here are some examples […]
U.S. egg farmers are committed to providing consumers the safest and highest-quality eggs, and it is a top priority for farms to implement biosecurity and health protocols to help protect their hens from disease. Egg farmers work closely with animal health experts and veterinarians to monitor their flocks and keep them as healthy as possible. […]
The UEP Certified program provides guidelines and third-party audits that support egg farmers in providing the best care possible for their hens. Click to download the complete (cage and cage-free) guidelines.download