European norms on the welfare of laying hens

  • DL 29 July 2003 - Protection of laying hens
  • What are the main parameters of the European norm?

    1) Linear feeders providing at least 10 cm in length per hen or circular feeders providing at least 4 cm in length per hen;

    2)  Continuos drinking troughs providing 2.5 cm per hen or circular drinking troughs providing 1 cm in length per hen. In addition, where nipple drinkers or cups are used, there shall be at least one nipple drinker or cup for every 10 hens and where drinking points are plumbed in, at least two cups or two nipple drinkers shall be within reach of each hen; 

    3)  At least one nest for every 7 hens. If communal nests are used, there must be an area of at least 1 mq for a maximum of 120 hens;

    4) Adequate perches without sharp edges and providing at least 15 cm per hen. Perches must not be mounted above the litter. The horizontal distance between perches must be at least 30 cm and between a perch and a wall must be at least 20 cm.

    5)  The stocking density must not exceed 9 laying hens per mq of usable area.

  • What does it mean "usefull surface"?

    An area with a minimum width of 30 cm, a maximum gradient of 14 percent and a minimum height of 45 cm. The nesting areas are not part of the usable area.

  • Can I do a farming for commercial layers without slats?

    NO, the perch is not mandatory but it is mandatory to have 15 cm of perching space per bird/hen (18 cm if ORGANIC) and the perches must be installed over the slatted area. Please note that at least one third of the total usable area must be littered.