BEHIND THE EGG INDUSTRY
Hens are very social animals who like to forage for food, take dust-baths, perch and take care of their families. Selectively bred to produce the maximum number of eggs, hens on egg farms often spend up to two years packed in wire cages with sixty other birds.
The cages are so small and crowded that hens cannot even spread their wings or exhibit other natural behaviours.
A DEADLY BEGINNING
Male chicks cannot lay eggs and as they are not the same breed as the chickens that are used for meat, they’re deemed worthless by the industry. After being separated from the females, they are gassed to death and disposed of like rubbish.
Did you know that in the UK, about half of hens on egg farms are packed into wire cages? On average, each hen has less usable living space than a standard piece of A4 paper. Inside these cages they spend hours on hard wire floors which can cut their feet. Because of the living conditions, hens often die in their cages. They are sometimes left to rot in the same space alongside living birds.
Hens are mutilated in the egg industry. Due to the stress of such intense confinement, hens engage in unnatural behaviours. Aggressive pecking and even cannibalism are common. Rather than giving hens more space, the chicks have the end of their sensitive beaks removed by an infra red beam without any painkillers.
BY THE NUMBERS
Animal Equality's Work
Hens used for their eggs suffer immensely. Animal Equality’s investigators are working in tandem with our education and corporate outreach departments to help expose cruelty, educate the public, and obtain corporate commitments to ban cages.
Through investigations and corporate outreach, Animal Equality has secured more than 60 policy commitments from corporations aimed at improving the lives of hens.
Spanish egg producer, Huevos Guillen, commits to eliminating cages from their supply system by 2025 after negotiations with Animal Equality. This policy will affect 5 million hens a year.
After negotiations with Animal Equality, Starbucks commits to eliminating cages for hens in Brazil by 2025. This policy will affect 10,000 hens a year.
French multinational Carrefour goes cage free in Italy after negotiations with Animal Equality. The measure that will affect 500,000 hens will be implemented by the company in 2020.
What can I do to help?
Hens in cages suffer a miserable existence. Crammed into overcrowded, barren, wire-floored confinement, they are barely afforded the space of an A4 piece of paper each.
Sign our petition calling on the UK Government to ban cages for hens.
© Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality