1. Battery Cages
One of the most egregious aspects of egg production is the extreme confinement of hens. Most hens live out their lives in barren battery cages with less living space than the size of a sheet of notebook paper.
2. Macerators (Grinding Machines)
Because male chicks do not lay eggs or grow quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat, they are often killed within hours after hatching. Some are ground up alive while others are gassed or suffocated.
When they are just babies, egg-laying hens have their beaks seared off with a hot blade. This is an extremely painful procedure and many chickens die from starvation because it’s too excruciating to even eat.
4. No Federal Laws
Unfortunately, not a single federal law provides protection to animals during their lives on factory farms, and the law that protects cows and pigs at the slaughterhouse—the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act—does not extend to birds, leaving chickens with virtually no protection from abuse.
5. Unnaturally Short Lives
While hens can live an average of 10 to 12 years, on modern farms they are killed when their egg production declines around their second birthday.
6. Barn Fires
Sadly, there has been a shocking number of fires at egg factory farms around the country that have resulted in the mass deaths of an astonishing number of birds.
The intensive confinement of animals on factory farms also makes them vulnerable to other deadly horrors, such as floods and collapsing barns.
7. Restriction of Natural Behaviors
Egg-laying hens are denied nearly everything that comes naturally to them. They are kept in cramped wire battery cages and can never fully spread their wings, walk, perch, or build nests.
8. Broken Bones
In addition to severe mental and social deprivation, forcing a naturally active bird to spend her life in a cramped and nearly stationary position causes numerous health problems, including lameness, bone brittleness, and muscle weakness. Nearly 30 percent of hens have broken bones at the time they are slaughtered.
9. Little to No Veterinary Care
As countless MFA investigations have documented, many hens are left to suffer from open wounds, serious untreated injuries, and infections without proper veterinary care.
As long as factory farmers’ top priority is profit, not animal welfare, animals will pay the price. To withdraw your support from an industry that treats animals as mere commodities, get your FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide here.