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
See UEP Certified Cage-Free Guidelineslearn 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
Sam Krouse Indiana Egg Farmer “It’s a very exciting, dynamic time to be working in the egg industry.” Growing up, Sam Krouse witnessed the passion his dad and grandfather showed as they cared for their flocks at Midwest Poultry Services (MPS). He worked summers at the family farm processing and packing eggs. After college, Krouse […]
Jason Ramsdell South Dakota Egg Farmer “Taking care of hens and producing an affordable food source is rewarding.” “Day or night, my job never stops. Caring for a flock of hens requires us to be flexible, working at odd times and willing to give our attention to the hens as needed.” Jason Ramsdell, the general […]
Egg farmers go about their business quietly, with a simple but focused commitment on continuous improvements in how they care for and raise their hens to produce eggs. This care starts with forethought into how best to design the system that egg farmers will use to house, feed and care for their laying hens.The goal of […]
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