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Conditions for Chickens in Battery Cages Are More Sadistic Than Most People Realize

From Seth Millstein,
March 2023

You probably knew chickens in battery cages are crammed in tight — but did you know about the neverending light and reproductive control?

battery caged Hens

If you’ve eaten an egg recently, it probably came from a hen who was raised in horrific conditions in a battery cage. These small, cramped, relentlessly bright cages are physically excruciating for the chickens unfortunate to be housed and forcibly laying eggs in them, and animal welfare groups have long been pushing to ban them.

But although they’ve achieved some success on that front, battery cages are still legal in the U.S., and the majority of egg-laying hens in the country are still forced to live in them, enduring particularly cruel forms of reproductive torture throughout their short lives.

What Is a Battery Cage?

A battery cage is a wire enclosure that egg-laying hens — or layer hens, as they’re more commonly called — are confined to on factory farms. They spend the entirety of their lives in them, laying roughly one egg per day, until they’re slaughtered for meat. A single egg-producing factory farm may confine thousands of hens at a time in these cages.

Battery cages are extremely cramped. Typically, each one contains 4-5 chickens, and each chicken has around 67 square inches to herself — less than the surface area of an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper. Hens in battery cages do not have enough room to fully stretch their wings or extend their necks, let alone walk, fly or do any number of other things that chickens do in their natural habitats.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE, including:

  • When Were Batery Cages Invented?
  • Why Are Battery Cages Used?
  • How Common Are Battery Cages?
  • Why Battery Cages Are Bad Beyond How Crowded They Are
  • Forced Molting and Starvation
  • Light Manipulation
  • Osteoporosis and Cage Layer Fatigue
  • Foot Problems
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Debeaking
  • How Long Do Battery Hens Live?
  • What Are 'Enriched Cages?'
  • Which Countries Have Banned Battery Cages?
  • Are Battery Cages Legal in the U.S.?
  • Cage-Free vs. Battery-Cage Eggs
  • Options for Consumers Besides Eggs from Battery Cages
  • Boycotting Eggs
  • Certified Humane Pasture-Raised Eggs
  • Free-Range Eggs
  • The Bottom Line


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