Nest Boxes Required.
HFAC’s Animal Care Standards require that laying hens be provided with nest boxes. The nest boxes must have a floor substrate that encourages the hens’ natural nesting behavior.
A nest box provides a hen with a secluded place in which to lay her eggs. Hens are very strongly motivated to build a nest prior to laying their eggs, and the Animal Care Standards require that the producers use nest boxes that provide a substrate that encourages the hens to perform this behavior. Attractive nest boxes also mean that hens do not lay their eggs on the floor or ground, where the eggs can become cracked or dirty.
See the fact sheet on Laying Hens Housing Systems for more information about environments for laying hens.