Hens are lively animals that are always on the move: whether they are exploring among the trees in the hen yard, pecking at the ground or sand bathing inside the barn. In other words, occupation is absolutely crucial for the welfare of the hens. Both in the Danish industry association Danske Æg - of which DANÆG is a member - and at DANÆG, we are constantly working to make the hens' welfare even better.
Beak trimming is done by burning or cutting the tip of the beak of the chickens. The purpose of trimming the beak is to prevent the animals from pecking at each other or pecking at their own feathers.
In Denmark, beak trimming is considered an animal welfare problem, as the procedure causes pain to the animal. Therefore, in 2014, the Danish industry association 'Danske Æg' (Danish Eggs) - which handles the majority of all eggs produced in Denmark - introduced a total stop to beak trimming of all Danish chickens.
At DANÆG, we demand that our organic and free-range farmers provide planting - such as poplars, willow trees or fruit trees - in the hen yard. The trees are good hiding places for the hens. At the same time, the trees provide the hens with shade on sunny summer days and shelter from the wind.
Inside the barn, the farmers keeps the hens occupied with hay and hard blocks of minerals that the hens can pick at. Organic hens also get roughage (eg carrots or hay).
At DANÆG, we have developed a special concept: organic eggs from orchards. These organic farmers differ in that the hen farm is located in a lush orchard, where the hens can move around freely between the apple, plum or pear trees.
In the spring and summer, the hens' leftovers is great fertilizer for the fruit trees, and in late summer the hens can eat the nutritious fallen fruits. In this way, the sub-elements of the farm play together as one sustainable unit.
At DANÆG, we want to shape the egg production of the future with an eye for sustainability and animal welfare. Therefore, since 2017, an independent, advisory committee has guided us in how we can ensure high animal welfare in all forms of production.
The collaboration with our Advisory Board has, among other things, led to DANÆG introducing requirements for green planting in the hen yards for free-range hens and organic hens.