Veterinarian Reports Egg Farmers Regretted Investment in Enriched Cages


On the final day of the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention in St. Paul, MN, Dr. Atoussa Mazaheri, Company Veterinarian with Lohmann Tierzucht in Cuxhaven, Germany reported that the German egg farmers who installed the enriched colony cages in that country regretted it. Dr. Mazaheri repeated that statement during her presentation saying the animal rights activists were not satisfied and are pressing the retailers to go cage-free altogether. Germany is an important barometer for the failure of enriched colony cages as that country implemented the installation in 2009 before the EU-wide law (EU Council Directive 1999/74/EC) went into effect January 2012. Those “good intentions” by the German Bungestag yielded more problems with the re-emergence of poultry diseases that had been previously eradicated since 1998. These included Erysipelas showing a drop in egg production upwards of 15% and mortality of 30%; Blackhead which can only be cured with penicillin, but not allowed in poultry in Germany; and Pox (Fowl Pox) which has a mortality ranging between 10-50%. Dr. Mazaheri stated privately she was not trying to engage in a political discussion on the subject of enriched cages, but to simply state the experience in Germany.