We know free range hens demonstrate
curiosity, how do colony birds express this
Hens are curious which makes their
management very important and why good
stockmanship in the unit is needed.
The Colony system allows hens to socialise and
interact with each other in a controlled
environment where they are not subjected to
constant change which can lead to fear and
stress and create an adverse reaction which
may lead to anti-social, aggressive behaviour.
Scientific research has shown hens kept in
alternative systems must be distracted with
toys” to minimise this behaviour which leads
to feather pecking and mortality. The smaller
colony sizes of up to 100 hens is a more social
environment compared with thousands of hens
left together in a free range type environment.
What is your view of the aims and work of
the British Hen Welfare Trust?
The British Hen Welfare Trust has found homes
for hens from all types of production systems.
Oaklands Farm Eggs hope they continue their
good work and willingness to review and report
comprehensively on all types of egg production
methods now the battery cage no longer exists.
You designed your own colony units, why?
What makes them better than those of other
Oaklands Farm Eggs worked closely with the
manufacturer, to ensure our expertise in hen
welfare and stockmanship provided
accommodation which suited the hens’ needs
rather than just complying with EU legislation.
We care for our hens and require an
environment that not only provided for these
needs but also allows the production of clean,
healthy and safe eggs for consumers.
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