Egg Production Articles from All-Creatures.org



A Cage Is a Cage Is a Cage

From MaySafelyGraze.org.nz
January 2023

Battery cages are merely being replaced by slightly bigger prisons, called Ďcolony cagesí. The hens are still in a confined system, and still canít adequately express their natural behaviours. As long as eggs are considered food, layer hens will be considered a food production unit rather than sentient beings, similar in many ways to you and me.

battery Hens

Itís 2023, and the time is up for battery cages in New Zealand. No longer will hens be stuck inside tiny cages made out of wire on all six sides, so that their unwilling prisoners are forced to stand on sloping wire, canít move more than a few inches, and canít stretch their wings for their entire lives.

Itís great news, right? An unconscionably cruel method that treats sentient beings as production machines and denies their natural instincts is finally gone forever?

Well, no.

Battery cages are merely being replaced by slightly bigger prisons, called Ďcolony cagesí. Over the past ten years since the then National government announced a ban on battery cages from 2023, many egg producers have been re-housing their hens in colony cages, a caged system that includes ďenrichmentsĒ such as perches, a nest area and a small rubber scratch pad. But the hens are still in a confined system, and still canít adequately express their natural behaviours.

Even in free-range egg farming there is a shocking hidden cruelty that is economically necessary to making an income on eggs.

Egg farms canít make a profit from hatching their own chicks so they purchase chicks fromí hatcheriesí, where baby birds, as soon as they are peck out of their shells, are thrust into a frightening world of conveyor belts and metal machinery. As males canít lay eggs, and donít grow fast enough to be profitable for meat, they are killed just hours after hatching. They may be tossed into bins where they asphyxiate or slowly die of exposure and dehydration, or they are gassed to death. Sometimes they are thrown into a maceration machine. Yes, you read that correctly. Bouncing little baby male chicks are ground up alive.

ďThey may be tossed into bins where they asphyxiate or slowly die of exposure and dehydration, or they are gassed to death. Sometimes they are thrown into a maceration machine. Yes, you read that correctly. Bouncing little baby male chicks are ground up alive.Ē

As long as eggs are considered food, layer hens will be considered a food production unit rather than sentient beings, similar in many ways to you and I.

Will 2023 be the turning point where we stop considering other animals as food and begin to chart a course to veganism and a more humane, more sustainable world? If we truly care about living ethically, and do not want to cause suffering to others, then we must end not only industrialised farming such as egg farming, but all animal farming. 


Return to Egg Production Articles