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CSES Research Project

Overview   Final Results

Engaging in a holistic, commercial-scale study to evaluate various laying hen housing systems and potential impacts on food safety, the environment, hen health and well-being, worker health and safety and food affordability, provides food system stakeholders with science-based information on sustainability factors to guide informed production and purchasing decisions.

The research found there are positive and negative impacts and trade-offs associated with each of the three hen housing systems relative to each of the five sustainability areas. Depending on the goals of a food system stakeholder, the trade-offs may be weighed differently. As a result of the Coalition’s work, stakeholders will benefit from science-based information on sustainability factors to guide production and purchasing decisions.

This research represents a snapshot in time – it assesses elements of hen housing and egg production using a single hen breed/strain, in a particular region of the U.S., over the course of three years and two flocks, in these particular housing systems. While it highlights the trade-offs involved and can assist in supporting informed decision-making, caution should be exercised in applying the research results to other scenarios with different variables.