Rembrandt Foods has chosen South Dakota as the site for its new 100 percent cage-free egg production facility. The giant hen house is expected to be populated with 3 million chickens.

Iowa-based Rembrandt, one of the nation’s largest egg producers, announced last fall it would build its first totally cage-free facility. This week, it revealed the site: Lake Preston, S.D., about 90 miles west of Marshall, Minn.

Construction is scheduled to begin later this spring, and production should begin in 2017. The company said it chose the South Dakota site for its central location, access to feed and "biosecurity benefits."

Rembrandt is owned by Minnesota printing magnate Glen Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Egg producers like Rembrandt are expanding their production of cage-free eggs at the behest of their customers: large restaurant chains and food retailers and manufacturers.

Still, at this point, most U.S. egg production comes from hens housed in cramped metal cages, which have been derided by animal rights groups.

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