Pullets and Laying Hens


The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pullets and Laying Hens was released in 2017. The 5-year review of this Code was completed in 2022 with a recommendation to initiate an amendment to keep the Code relevant and up-to-date.  Major challenges identified that warrant Code amendments:

  • Round feeder space for laying hens and pullets (sections 1.1.3 & 2.3)
  • Minimum space allowance for pullets in multi-tier systems (section 1.1.4)
  • Maximum number of tiers allowed in laying and rearing facilities (sections 1.1.5 & 2.6) 

Code amendment timeline:

  • Start: December 2023
  • Public comment period: November 2024 – January 2025
  • Projected completion: April 2025

Timeline for all Codes of Practice being amended or updated.

There are various ways to view the Code:

There are a limited number of hard copies of this Code. NFACC encourages use of the electronic version and does not store hard copies. If hard copies are required, please contact Egg Farmers of Canada

Code Interpretation - a written clarification of the meaning of a section of a Code

Please note that content in the transportation section of this Code, along with additional transportation-related content (e.g., glossary terms) that had referenced or reflected the outdated version of Part XII (Transport of Animals) in the Health of Animal Regulations (HAR), or the now archived Compromised Animals Policy, has been updated to align with the amended regulations, which took effect on February 20, 2020. Hard copies of the Codes that were printed prior to this alignment will not include these updates. For clarity, Codes that have been updated will include a statement on the front cover that reads “Alignment with Part XII (Transport of Animals) of the Health of Animals Regulations: 2021”.

This update process was strictly aimed at revising existing text that no longer aligned with the amended HAR. Every effort was made to respect the original priorities and decisions of the Code Development Committee (e.g., text from the HAR was not added if it was not covered in the original Code). In case of a discrepancy between the hard copy and online version of a Code, the online version shall take precedence.

Other resources:

Table of Contents

Section 1 Pullet Housing and Rearing
Section 2 Housing Systems for Layers
Section 3 Barn Environmental Management
Section 4 Feed and Water
Section 5 Health Management and Husbandry Practices
Section 6 Handling and Transportation
Section 7 Euthanasia
Section 8 On-Farm Depopulation
Cited References
Appendix A- Transitional and Final Housing Requirements for Enriched Cages
Appendix B- Transitional and Final Housing Requirements for Non-Cage Housing
Appendix C- Guidelines for Transporting Poultry
Appendix D- Example Euthanasia Decision Guidance
Appendix E- Acceptable Methods of Euthanasia
Appendix F- Resources for Further Information
Appendix G- Participants
Appendix H- Summary of Code Requirements

« Back