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Report States Caged Eggs Better than Free Range!

by 5m Editor
22 January 2008, at 11:58am

UK - A recent study at Cranfield University has been investigating the environmental "footprint" of 10 different farming systems using a life cycle assessment (LCA) model and has come up with some interesting results.

Dr Adrian Williams has investigated the consumption of primary resources such as minerals and fossil fuels on the different farming systems to determine the intensity of the environmental "footprint" that each one generates.

Dr Williams found conclusively that poultry and eggs are the leaders in energy performance for livestock with the lowest levels of Global Warming Potential (GWP) when compared to beef, pork, lamb and wool production.

The study, funded by the Defra, also compared the environmental impact of cage, barn, free range and organic egg production in relation to GWP.

The findings demonstrated a significantly higher energy use associated with organic, free range and barn egg production due to greater land requirements for these systems and less efficient feed conversion than layer hens in cage egg production.

While the Global Warming potential differs depending on the farming methods, the report concludes the chicken and the egg are both winners in energy performance.