Industry standards allow hens to be confined in cages and do not require nest boxes, perches, or dust-bathing areas. Humane Farm Animal Care does not permit this kind of confinement because it disrupts the birds’ abilities to engage in natural behaviors and can contribute to bone weakness and footpad injury. Furthermore, the resulting lack of space does not allow birds to escape aggression from other hens.
For more information, see Humane Farm Animal Care Standards, Egg Laying Hens Part 3: Environment, where it is stated: “The environment in which hens are kept must take into account their welfare needs and be designed to protect them from physical and thermal discomfort, fear, and distress, and allow them to perform their natural behavior. All Cages type systems such as battery cages, furnished or enriched cages, as well as aviary systems that are designed to confine birds such as lock back cages that would be open during the day but closed at night, are prohibited. In aviary systems, all hens must have access to all levels of the housing system at all times.”