Herbruck’s applauds Michigan for new cage-free law

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch is applauding Michigan lawmakers for moving the state one step closer to ensuring a better life for egg-laying chickens across the state.

The Michigan Legislature in November passed a bill outlawing the sale and production of all non-cage-free eggs by 2025. The bill was signed into law shortly after by Lt. Gov. Garland Gilchrist.

While the new law ensures operations across the state must be completely cage-free by the end of 2024, Herbruck’s will be completely cage-free years earlier, having been moving steadily toward that goal long before it was mandated.

“This move by Michigan lawmakers is a major step forward for animal welfare in the state,” said Greg Herbruck, president of Herbruck’s. “As an organization that has long sought to lead this industry in animal care and housing, we’re thrilled that others will now start to follow suit.”

The new Michigan law is the latest in a wave of legislation passed across the country, increasingly moving all producers and consumers toward more ethically sourced eggs. Other major food service operations, such as McDonalds and Fresh Thyme, have also made commitments to start providing only cage-free eggs.

Herbruck’s began shifting away from traditional battery cages at the turn of the century, fueled by a desire to continue to do better by its animals and also a nascent consumer demand for premium, ethically sourced eggs.

In 2020, over 65% of Herbruck’s eggs will be produced by hens living in cage-free housing. In 2023, 100% of Herbruck’s eggs will come from cage-free hens.

“Cage-free is the future — for both birds and consumers. We know the market is demanding premium eggs from healthy hens and we’ve been working for years to deliver that for our retail, private label and food service customers,” Herbruck said.

In addition to Herbruck’s, there are eight other family-owned and operated egg farms in Michigan, in total accounting for more than 15 million hens. West Michigan in particular — where Herbruck’s is based — is home to over 90 percent of Michigan’s egg farms.