Free Range Egg Production
The egg production industry has increased substantially in recent years, due to our growing population and a demand for protein foods. The sector is divided into four varying intensities: enriched cages; barn; free range; and, organic.
Free-range egg production is frequently referred to as an alternative system. The basic principle is simple. Birds have daytime access to a range, which is covered in vegetation. Free-draining soil with a healthy growth of grass is ideal.
Free-range egg production is defined by the European Union. The EU lays down outdoor and indoor space requirements and other conditions for free-range production. Regulations are implemented by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), which is also the inspectorial body. The requirements of the voluntary egg quality assurance scheme (e.g., Bord Bia Sustainable Egg Assurance Scheme (SEAS)), and other animal welfare groups (e.g., Freedom Foods), should also be considered and incorporated at the planning stage.
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