This review provides a comparative analysis on the unenriched and alternative cage systems used in commercial egg production as required by the directive (99/74/EC) of the EU Council on animal welfare in terms of technical performance indicators, distribution of cost items, egg sales revenue, and profitability. Unenriched (conventional) cages are commonly used in Turkey. However these cages don't provide for the laying hens natural needs. The comparison was taken from data regarding Lohmann Brown Classic and Lohmann LSL Classic laying hybrids kept in two caging systems. The rearing period was composed of 399 days starting when 16-week-old commercial pullets were put into unenriched and alternative cage systems and ending at the end of their 73rd weeks of age when laying hens were removed from production. The average shares of the some important cost items in the total cost in the production period were calculated to be as follows for unenriched and alternative cage systems, respectively: pullet 22.17% and 21.17%; feed 61.31% and 58.29%; labour 2.67% and 2.55%; veterinary and health 0.74% and 0.98%; egg packaging 3.23% and 3.48%; maintenance and repair expenses 1.50% and 2.29%; and depreciation costs 5.48% and 8.35%. The average cost of producing one egg was found to be 0.094 US$ and 0.097 US$, respectively. It was determined that investment costs in alternative cage systems was 14.93% higher and the production cost per hen was 2.03% higher than that in unenriched cage systems. In Turkey, on January 1, 2023, all systems will be converted to alternative cages. Investment amounts and production costs for the alternative cage systems are very important in this transformation process. Therefore the present review is to examine the available information on the production data of laying hens reared in the unenriched and alternative cages and to make economic feasibility conclusions under Turkey conditions.
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