Battery Hens

In Norway, 56% of hens are trapped in small cages. They stand on wire, which slopes so that the eggs they are lying on immediately rolls away and is collected for the farmers. The hens can never incubate their eggs. The chicks are hatched in incubators and then sorted by gender. All the small male chickens are gassed to death, while the female chickens are placed in cages to eventually lay eggs when they become hens. The cages are tiny, with three hens in each cage. As of 2012, the cages will now contain perch sticks, nest cases and dust-baths but the cages will still be too small and will cause chickens to be stuck in conflict with other chickens.

The egg farmers choose battery hens (hens in cages) because it requires less work than letting the chickens roam freely. Animal welfare is not a concern for egg farmers since production and subsequent income is their main concern. Chickens live in darkness almost all of their lives. As a result of the tremendous pain and stress of standing trapped on wire in a small cage with two other hens, they get emotionally disturbed and begin to pick on each other more frequently. In response, the egg farmers usually meet the situation by dimming the lights so that the fowls will be more passive.

Most hens suffer from osteoporosis. In nature, chickens are only intended to lay eggs a few times a year, while today, they are bred to lay one egg per day! Besides being exhausted, this drains large amounts of calcium from their bones. Battery hens also have sore feet since they stand on wire, which adds to body pains from their essentially sedentary lives. When the hen is about 1.5 years old and her egg-laying speed slows down, she is sent to the slaughterhouse. During travel to the slaughterhouse, many hens get serious injuries such as broken bones, since little care is given to ensure safe travel.

Add to Favorite
Tell a friend
Search Butterfly Season