Happy hens in new caged egg systems

Best practice: Tamworth egg producer Bede Burke said over the past 10 years those involved in the industry had spent half a billion dollars improving caged egg systems. Photo: The Land.
Best practice: Tamworth egg producer Bede Burke said over the past 10 years those involved in the industry had spent half a billion dollars improving caged egg systems. Photo: The Land.

Tamworth mixed farmer and caged egg producer Bede Burke said people’s perceptions of caged egg operations were often wildly different to the reality.

Casting off his numerous hats in egg industry positions for this interview, Mr Burke said as a farmer he wanted to have an open and frank discussion with the community about the reality of caged egg production.

“In agriculture today there’s a chasm between perception and reality,” he said.

He shows many groups through his operation from university students and Rotary groups to overseas visitors.

“Seeing is believing,” he said. “On days like today where it’s 36 or 37 degrees outside the birds are in a ventilated, climate controlled environment at 22 degrees.”

Cages are a lot larger than they were years ago and designed to maximise animal welfare outcomes. He said hens in cages have better conditions compared to hens in free range systems.

“Egg farmers want to engage in this process so the community can trust what we do is always for the best outcomes for the hens,” Mr Burke said.

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