Free Run housing consists of a large, open concept where the hens can roam freely inside the barn.
The hens have access to nests and perches and have room to take short flights. Flooring can be made of slats or dust and straw, which enables the hens to dust bathe.
Free Run housing allows hens to perform more of their natural and instinctive behaviours, like taking short flights and dust bathing. This can also be to its detriment, though, as dust bathing can decrease the air quality in the barn and increase mortality rates. Larger groups of hens can also lead to a more aggressive development of the pecking order.
The eggs are rolled out from the nesting area onto a conveyor belt for collection. These belts carry the eggs to a centralized collection area where the eggs are automatically packed wide-end up to keep the yolk centred.
The hens’ feed is delivered in troughs that run through the barn. Hens are fed a balanced diet including soy and canola protein, and grains like corn and wheat, as well as minerals and vitamins.