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, used for continuous improvement of the UEP Certified program.advisory committee
Like humans, hens need quality housing. Farmers must balance and weigh the tradeoffs between different styles of housing. Farmers consider several factors including hen health and well-being, weather protection, disease control, predator protection, economic feasibility and in-flock aggression. The ability for routine observation and specialized care are other important components when evaluating different types of […]
A hundred years ago, eggs were produced in small flocks in farmyards. Hens were often harmed by predators or diseases and mortality was extremely high. Today many hens are housed inside barns to keep them safe and healthy. Safeguard from extreme weather Many of the nation’s hens are raised in Midwest states that experience extreme […]
There’s nothing cuter than tiny chicks and ducklings in the spring. If you are planning on handling poultry this Easter season, or anytime, make sure you follow a few simple rules to keep you and your family healthy and happy. Owning and caring for live poultry requires some special accommodations. Even when chicks and ducklings […]