1. Behaviour, production and welfare of ISA Brown medium hybrids were assessed in 2 trials (each from 20 to 44 weeks of age) of a novel design of cage for laying hens: the Edinburgh Modified Cage (EMC). 2. The EMC was 600 mm wide, 450 mm deep and 450 mm high at the rear; it had a softwood perch and at one side a 250 mm wide nest box (containing litter or artificial turf) with a dust bath directly above. It housed 4 birds and provided 675 cm2/bird in the main cage with an additional 281 cm2/bird in the nest box. The nest box and dust bath had automatically controlled doors which were closed at night. There were 18 EMC; in the first trial these were compared with 6 control cages with perch but without next box or dust bath. 3. Hens spent 32 to 37% of day time on the perch, 5 to 7% in the dust bath and 5 to 6% in the nest. At night 92 to 98% roosted on the perch. 4. Initially only 55 to 70% of eggs were laid in the nest box partly because some eggs were laid before dawn. Once the door was retimed to open 3h before lights-on the proportion rose to 91 to 96%. Very few eggs were laid in the dust bath. Pre-laying behaviour lasted longer in treatments with nest boxes (55 to 76min) than in control cages (48min); disturbance was slight in all treatments, but lowest in control cages. 5. Dust baths were well used, with on average 61% of hens dust bathing during a 3-h afternoon observation period compared with only 17% in control cages. Two birds could use the dust bath simultaneously. 6. It was concluded that although a number of minor design features still required attention the EMC has potential to reduce the disadvantages of conventional cages for welfare while retaining their advantages and has possible commercial application.