The sub-page is dedicated to priority area 2. Assessment of welfare of laying hens housed in alternative to cage systems.


The set of welfare indicators documents below identifies the legal requirements of the legislation and addresses their corresponding specific indicators for each requirement, classified as animal-based, resource-based and management-based indicators. The indicators have been retrieved from literature review and expert knowledge. Furthermore, the legal requirements without specific corresponding indicators have been identified. The indicators and methods of assessment were evaluated according to their validity, feasibility, and reliability in order to deliver useful information for official controls. The possible gaps of knowledge and ‘open norms ‘ were identified and discussed.

The Factsheet How to assess gas concentrations in laying hens farms? is also available in French, Spanish, Italian, and German


The aim of this study was to develop a valid and feasible method for measuring dust levels in poultry barns during veterinary inspections. For this purpose, the dust level was assessed in 12 Danish layer barns using six methods: a dust measurement based on the light scattering principle, dust accumulation on structures in the building, visibility as a function of airborne particles in the barn, the dust sheet test (1 h), the dust sheet test (2–3 h) and a modified dust sheet test where the sheet was replaced by black tape attached to the observer. The study showed that the dust sheet test, where the sheets are left in the barn for 2–3 h before being assessed, is a valid method to assess the dust level in poultry barns.

A scientific paper was published based on this scientific study: Mousqué et al. 2023. Validation of methods for assessment of dust levels in layer barns.