Hellmann started the development of the enriched cages in the nineties in Sweden. When the regulations of 1999 were published, the development of the enriched cages sped up. The fact that many countries in Europe adopted deviations on the regulations, some allowing weaker, some making more severe regulations, resulted in different “optimal” cages for different countries. Even the width of a barn could mean that a different cage should be designed (because of the 90 cm walkway rule). Hellmann offers about 60 different enriched cages.
The choice of which enriched cage should be based on the applicable regulations. In some countries there is no regulation for the amount of trough per bird, or length of perch, sometimes it is not mandatory to have a scratching area. With each set of rules comes a different optimal cage. It doesn’t suffice to just adhere to the rules. The division and location of the enrichments will decide if a cage will later be clean or dirty, or if the egg quality later will be good or bad. Even the type of perch is important for the health of the birds!
In the download area of our website, you can see the different types of enriched cages.
Important for Hellmann is that, if possible, the nest is located at the front (walkway-side), in order to minimize the roll-out distance of the eggs. This always goes at the expense of trough space per bird, so it is not always possible. Other important items for Hellmann are the back wall, to make sure that the cages don’t become deeper than necessary (important for the welfare of the bird during inspections and removing) and that the group size is overseeable. All studies that we know of show that a smaller group size leads to better results.
Enriched cages and regulations are sometimes very complicated. Please do not hesitate to call us for advice or an opinion.