Free Range Eggs
Flouting the rules for free-range egg production and still sell eggs for a higher price due to free range status is a crime. In addition to the requirements for Eggs from Barn hens, Free Range hens must also have:
- there must be several pop holes giving direct access to the outer area
- each pop hole must be at least 35cm high and 40cm wide
- pop holes must extend along the entire length of the building
- a total opening of 2m must be available per group of 1,000 hens
- continuous daytime access to open-air runs, except in the case of temporary restrictions imposed by veterinary authorities.
- mainly covered with vegetation and not used for other purposes except for orchards, woodland and livestock grazing.
- not extending beyond a radius of 150m from the nearest pop hole of the building; an extension of up to 350m from the nearest pop hole of the building is permissible provided that there exists an even distribution of drinking troughs and shelters throughout the entire run, with at least 4 shelters per hectare.
- the maximum stocking density of open-air runs must not be greater than 2 500 hens per hectare of ground available to the hens or one hen per 4 m2 at all times. However, where at least 10 m2 per hen is available and where rotation is practised and hens are given even access to the whole area over the flock's life, each paddock used must at any time assure at least 2,5 m2 per hen.