Structures, Separation, and Safety for Layer Farms

August 27, 2020

Given the continued push toward cage-free production, more and more egg producers are challenged to renovate existing structures or build new cage-free facilities. Spatial separation between buildings is more important than ever.

In the past, 50 feet had been the standard separation, but as noted in past newsletter articles, 50 feet is no longer enough when layer barns soar three to five stories and house two or more flocks.

Palomar insurance experts recommend a minimum of 75 feet separation for non-combustible and 100 feet separation for combustible frame houses in response to the increased scale and as a result of conversations with underwriters, engineers, and egg industry contractors and equipment providers.

Here are guidelines based on those discussions:

Here are additional recommendations:

  • Always discuss your construction plans with your insurance agent or insurer.
  • GRC, Palomar’s loss control partner, includes an email address ( in every loss control report and can provide an additional engineer’s review on request.
  • Address fire spread prevention with the contractor when planning a site.

UEP members can reach out to the Palomar Egg Team with questions about spatial separation and other ways to prevent the spread of fire between your buildings.