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   Ruth Farms, Home Of Happy Yolks, Goes Cage Free
by Craig Kelly,
Posted: Friday, December 1, 2017 at 3:27PM EST

HARROD — While large-scale poultry operations can sometimes evoke images of chickens confined to cages unable to move, an Auglaize Township operation is demonstrating a different approach.

Ruth Farms, home of Happy Yolks LLC, held an open house Thursday to give the public a look at its operation, which is still under construction. Ruth Farms will use Tecno Cage Free Poultry Systems, which houses a large number of laying hens without the confinement of cages. The operation will consist of two buildings, each of which will have two stories containing six, 468-foot long rows of feeder space, able to accomodate over 101,000 layers per floor.

When chickens first arrive, they are kept in the feeder space for one week to acclimate them as to where to find food and water. Then the chickens are free to exit the feeding area and move about in the building. The lighting is programmed to represent outdoor sunlight, so as the sun sets, the interior lights will dim, prompting the chickens to return to their feeding area as they seek higher perches, an instinctive measure chickens use to avoid predators overnight, according to Ruth Farms co-owner Dan Gossard.

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