Alberta egg farmers embracing change

Egg farmers in Alberta are making a switch. They are going from conventional cages to other options.

That’s because come January 1st conventional cages for hens will no longer be permitted in Alberta.

Egg Farmers of Alberta General Manager Susan Gal tells Rural Roots Canada producers have or are in the process of switching to a number of different options.

“In terms of a furnished housing system these are ones that have nest boxes, they have scratch pads, perches and best bathes included and the density of these 116 and a quarter and there are other alternatives like free run or free range systems that producers could also implement,” said Gal.

Gal says they’ve been keeping a close eye with what is going on internationally, particularly in Europe, where they made a similar move in 2012.

“So that was a signal that we needed to start looking at what these alternative systems were all about and we wanted to make sure that our producers have time to change. We did see change coming on the horizon and it needs to be managed in a methodical way.”

Gal says the new caging systems mean a steep learning curve for producers, but she says they will over-come them because they all share information very well.