Peter Skewes: Table Egg Production

Peter Skewes, Ph.D.
Professor, Animal & Veterinary Science

If you look at recent legislation, laws that are happening related to animal welfare, there’s a lot of concern about birds in cages for the production of table eggs.  

There’s an economic component for certain because there’s cost and profit involved – that’s the animal agriculture side.  The other side is the consumer and the people that are concerned about the welfare of the animals and what we’re really missing is information to make good informed decisions.

And so what we’re trying to do here is establish criteria. We have commercial cage conditions and then on the other side we have a pen or floor environment with a lot of enrichment and stimulation; and what we’re going to do is look at physiological and behavioral differences as a result of the birds being in these two treatments; and hopefully, that will lead us to have more knowledge and make better decisions about how we want to house these birds, manage them for the production of table eggs.