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Abstract

In the European Union, alternative housing systems (aviary, barn, free-range, organic) are increasingly used in laying hen populations (49.6%). Hungary is one of the member states where modified cage housing technology is prevalent, but this may change in the future. For this reason, the economic aspects of egg production farms with different housing technologies should be examined in Hungary. The aim of this study is to present the production and economic indicators of three different sized Hungarian egg producing farms using three different housing methods (enriched cage, aviary, barn). The main finding is that all three farms are profitable, regardless of farm size and technology used. The obtained results, in conformity with technical literature sources, show that the cost of eggs is the lowest in the cage-based farm. However, economies of scale also play an important role in the case of the examined farms. In addition, higher sales prices were observed in the case of smaller farms using alternative technology, which is both due to the direct sales channel and the higher value of eggs produced by alternative technology recognised by consumers.

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