The domestic laying hen of today is originally descended from the native red jungle fowl of South East Asia, where it was first domesticated. Its natural habitat included heavily wooded jungle canopy. Domestic hens had spread throughout Europe as long as 4,000 years ago.
The laying hens we use on our farms today have been hybridised from pure lines of egg laying breeds. The ability of these pure lines to produce eggs has been improved by careful selection over many generations. This work is carried out by a small number of breeding companies situated mainly in Europe and US.
In the wild, hens naturally use trees for roosting at night to feel safe from ground predators. On our farms, the hens love the trees because they feel much safer from winged predators when they have cover over their heads during daylight hours. They also value the shelter that trees provide from wind and rain, as well as the shade from direct sunlight.