At Henpecked we aim to reduce the use of battery hens and with your help we hope that some day this horrendously cruel practice can be eradicated.
There are several welfare concerns regarding the battery cage system of housing and husbandry. Battery hens live in such close confinement they can hardly move and in fact have approximately the size of an A4 sheet of paper to live in. 70% of eggs produced in Ireland and the UK market come from battery hens, but these battery hens do not lay more eggs per annum than a free range hen.
Young battery hens are kept intensively until they are approximately 18 – 20 weeks old – near egg laying age. They are then transferred into the "battery farms". The young cockrels are dispatched at a couple of days old by being gassed or thrown live into a large mincer which kills then instantly, quick but horrific.
The battery hens go on to spend the next 12 months cooped up in an A4 sheet of paper space. They have no room to turn around, nowhere to go, nothing to do, no natural light, fed high protein with a huge amount of additives to prevent bacterial infection, worms and to get a good yolk colour. Their food and water is constantly in front of them so they have nothing else to do but eat and lay eggs. They have no perches and sleep in their wire crates. They have false or extended daylight hours by keeping the lights on for much of the day to encourage them to lay.
At 18 months they are past their maximum producing egg laying days for the industry so they are sent off to be slaughtered. Most often they are strung upside down on a conveyor belt and pass through an electric saw where they are beheaded.
Did you know that 18 months is very young for a hen? Most hens can and do live up to 10 years or more – so 18 months is nothing at all. But because they spend approximately 18 hours of their day for 18 months of their lives under false lighting to stimulate them into laying more eggs, they are spent out of eggs for mass production.
By keeping your own free-range hens you are affectively eliminating the need for another hen to be reared in a battery cage system.
There are so many advantages to keeping your own hens. Keeping your owns hens helps you recycle food and yard waste, they serve as an organic pest-cleanup in your garden and love to eat weeds. Organic eggs are healthier as a result of the treatment and well being of the chickens. Organic eggs have higher levels of Vitamin B and Folic Acid and frequently have higher levels of Omega-3. Battery eggs contain antibiotics that are fed to the chickens, which can lead to viruses in humans becoming resistant to antibiotics due to increased exposure.
Please help us to save hens from being reared in battery conditions; it’s a win-win situation!