The hens which lay ‘free-range’ eggs must have access to the outdoors, though in practice many are kept in such huge sheds that they rarely daylight.
‘Barn eggs’ are a halfway house between free range and battery systems.
The packaging on Class A ‘Lion Quality’ eggs says they come from ‘caged hens kept in carefully managed conditions’. These hens have to be ‘carefully managed’ because otherwise they would quickly die. In a typical cage, five fully-grown hens are crammed into a space only slightly larger than an A2 poster. Eggs from caged hens may be cheap, but the price in animal welfare is high.
‘Organic’ eggs are guaranteed to come from uncaged hens that are able to roam outside on organic pasture. They taste pretty good too!
Source: The Food Commission