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Laying Hens

This section contains a welfare potential matrix of the different production systems used for laying hens, as well as a summary of the key welfare issues of these production systems.

For producers converting to cage-free systems, there is a practical guide on the key features of a higher welfare system for laying hens.

You can also read about the welfare of laying hens in alternative systems (summary or full information sheet) and get informed about specific welfare issues such as feather coverage and beak trimming (summary or full information sheet), and how to assess welfare on farm.

Or find out how Compassion's welfare criteria for laying hens compare with other welfare schemes here.

There is also information available about egg production in the EU and the consumer perception of eggs.


Fit for Purpose - Fit for the Future Cage Free Systems for Laying Hens

A one page summary highlighting what companies need to do to ensure their cage-free systems provide a good quality of life for laying hens and meet the growing demand for…

Download (PDF 0.89MB)

Why Combination (Combi) systems are not appropriate for laying hen welfare

A summary of why Combination (Combi) or convertible housing systems are not a suitable alternative cage-free system for laying hens.

Download (PDF 0.56MB)

How welfare schemes compare to Compassion's criteria for higher welfare - Laying Hens

A comprehensive table comparing the various welfare initiatives and how they compare with Compassion's welfare criteria for laying hens.

Download (PDF 0.53MB)

Higher Welfare Systems for Laying Hens

A practical guide on alternative cage-free systems that deliver good standards of welfare for laying hens, highlighting the key features that should be incorporated to allow…

Download (PDF 1.44MB)

Welfare Potential Matrix - Laying Hens

A summary table which outlines the welfare potential by production system for laying hens using a ‘Bad-Better-Best’ model.

Download (PDF 0.22MB)

Welfare Outcome Summary - Laying Hens

Welfare outcomes are an animal-based method of assessing factors that contribute to an animal’s quality of welfare. This information sheet provides a selection of the main…

Download (PDF 0.13MB)

Welfare Issues Table - Laying Hens

Summary table which outlines the main welfare issues experienced by egg laying hens and offers some alternative solutions.

Download (PDF 0.09MB)

SUMMARY - Reducing the need for beak trimming

A summary of our technical information sheet on the topic in a simpler, easy to read format.

Download (PDF 0.76MB)

Improving Feather Cover - FeatherWel

A guide to reducing the risk of injurious pecking occurring in non-cage laying hens.

Download (PDF 5.37MB)

Egg production in the EU

Full technical information sheet. Suitable for readers with some prior knowledge or wanting to learn about the topic in more detail.

Download (PDF 0.11MB)