Now that battery cages are illegal in this country, many people believe that welfare conditions have improved significantly for laying hens, but regrettably this is not the case.
The replacement “enriched” cages in which around half-a-million factory farmed hens are now incarcerated, about 80 to a cage, have just a few extra square inches of space for each of them, so there is still no relief from boredom and frustration and certainly no opportunity to lead a natural life. Free range sheds are often so overcrowded that the majority of birds never leave them. Here too, feather loss is evident, along with sick and dying birds. Eggs are not an essential part of our diet, indeed they are significantly high in saturated fat and are better replaced by plant-based foodstuffs. Packed sheds and cages are no place for hens. They need to spread their wings, forage and dust bathe. Do you really want to eat eggs from hens deprived of such a natural way of life?
Anna Reeves, Saddlebow Village