Why "Cage-Free "or "Free-Range" Eggs Are NOT a Humane Alternative – In a Nutshell

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Why "Cage-Free" or "Free-Range" Eggs Are NOT a Humane Alternative – In a Nutshell

From Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

No matter where the egg production facility is, or what the 'visible to the public 'conditions are, the egg-laying hens are obtained from the same hatcheries that kill the baby rooster chicks at only one day old. If the "free-range" farm hatches its own chicks, two important questions still remain.

1. What happens to ALL of the male chicks – not just few token roosters – ALL of them?

2. What happens to the hens when they are no longer laying enough eggs for this facility to be profitable?

If the spent hens and ALL of the roosters were allowed to live out their lives until they died a natural death – chickens can live well over a decade – then that farm would soon have thousands of "spent" hens and roosters to care for. Obviously, the lifelong care of all of those birds, at all stages of a natural life span, would cut severely into any profits made by selling the eggs of younger hens.

So what happens to ALL of the boys? And what happens to ALL of the spent hens?

Hens are generally considered spent by egg-laying facilities at one to two years – meaning, the farm then has to provide predator-proof shelter, food, veterinary care, etc. for that same hen, for another decade. The roosters will require dozens of separate yards, predator-proof shelters, food, vet care, etc. for their entire lives.

In order to make a profit, the numbers simply don't add up unless the inevitable killing of roosters and spent hens is occurring.

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Comparison between "Free-Range" Hen and Battery Cage Hen:

"Free-Range" Hen

• Debeaked with a hot bloody blade at one day old with no anesthetic.

• Force molted (intentionally starved to shock the body into another laying cycle).

• Violently packed into a semi and trucked hundreds of miles to an agonizing slaughter when considered “spent” (unable to keep laying eggs at a fast enough pace).

• Denied the opportunity to live a natural life in truly humane care.

• All of her brothers (roosters) are brutally killed as baby chicks simply because they can’t lay eggs.


Battery Cage Hen

• Debeaked with a hot bloody blade at one day old with no anesthetic.

• Force molted (intentionally starved to shock the body into another laying cycle).

• Violently packed into a semi and trucked hundreds of miles to an agonizing slaughter when considered “spent” (unable to keep laying eggs at a fast enough pace).

• Denied the opportunity to live a natural life in truly humane care.

• All of her brothers (roosters) are brutally killed as baby chicks simply because they can’t lay eggs.