15 Things The Egg and Chicken Industry Does Not Want You To Know

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By number23

Cage-Free and Free-Range: The 15 Things The Egg Industry Does Not Want You To Know

The meat and poultry industry is the largest segment of U.S. agriculture. However, while the meat industry has seen a steady decline over recent years, the same cannot be said for animal produced products such as eggs, cheese, yogurt.

In fact, the USDA projects that egg consumption will increase in 2016 to 265.8 eggs per person – over the last 5 years the egg industry has added nearly 15 eggs per person in consumption. As we have reported before, the animal agricultural industry has a number of gruesome secrets. More often than not, the industry keeps these secrets hidden from the public’s eyes because they are disturbing, shocking, unhygienic and inhumane.

The number of land animals raised and killed for food in America has decreased by 400 million individual animals – from 9.5 billion animals in 2007 to 9.1 billion animals in 2015. Despite this impactful change, the rate of  vegetarianism in the US has remained relatively stagnant. Consumers have cited health reasons, environmental concerns and rising beef costs as the driving factors behind this trend.

Health concerns still remain the No. 1 reason people might consider cutting back on meat,” Professor Robert Lawrence, director of the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, told NPR.

With these factors in mind, many consumers are attempting to make informed decisions when they are purchasing animal products. However, the animal agricultural industry—like many others—employ deceptive marketing techniques that often convince consumers that their products are better for the animal, the environment and the consumer.

Happy chickens clucking around in a meadow is an image many of us have become familiar with when looking at cage-free and free-range eggs. The images, like they were intended, reassure the consumer and deceive them into thinking that the picturesque scene is the source of the eggs. However, in reality, this is often not the case.

“There are a lot of misconceptions around free-range,” says Frank Mitloehner, a professor at the University of California at Davis who studies the impact of animal food products on the environment.

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“What is happening in the free-range system is that you have no cages, but there’s not a dramatic amount of more space available,” Mitloehner says. “You still have barns that the animals are in, so they run around freely but are still in a tight area that is artificially ventilated.”

For free-range chicken farms  “no information on stocking density, the frequency or duration of how much outdoor access must be provided, nor the quality of the land accessible to the animals is defined,” according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). As a result, the hens are confined to warehouses that have a door(s) that leads outside. However, due to the mass crowding of the birds, the majority of them do not see daylight.

In comparison, the label cage-free “has virtually no relevance to animal welfare,” according to HSUS. Although these chickens are not confined to small cages like their factory farm brethrens, a typical hen house at a cage-free farm contains 100,000 egg-laying hens. As a result, the hens are still confined to small spaces, live among faeces and become stressed due to the unnatural size of the flock.

Image: Flickr, Oikeutta eläimille

Despite these small differences, many of the practices within the industry are the same across the board. With this in mind, we have decided to collect 15 facts that consumers need to know about the egg industry.

Here are 15 things the egg industry does not want you to see:

1) Hens will usually produce a single egg every 24 to 36 hours.

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2) There are over 300 million egg laying hens in the U.S. egg industry. This number will increase with demand.

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3) The chickens are born, raised and killed for one purpose: to supply us with food.

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4) Baby chick are born in incubators and do not see their mothers.

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5) The newborn chicks are then separated by gender.

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6) The females will become egg-laying hens like their mothers.

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7) While the males are tossed into a bag to suffocate, ground up alive or gassed to death.

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8) The female chicks then have the beaks trimmed to prevent pecking and cannibalism.

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9) Battery-farm chicks share a cage with 4-11 other hens, and do not have enough space to spread their wings.

Image: Flickr, Oikeutta eläimille

10) In many battery-farms, the cages are stacked on top of each other, which allows the urine and faeces to fall on the birds stationed below.

Image: Flickr, steve p2008

11) Due to the poor treatment of the birds, the hens often die in their cages.

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12) These dead hens are often left to rot in the cages.

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13) When the hens reach 72 weeks of age, the hen’s egg production drops. As they are not longer as profitable as younger hens, they are then sent to the slaughterhouse.

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14) The birds, already exhausted, ill or deformed after producing thousands of eggs in unnatural conditions, are shackled and hung upside down.

Image: Flickr, Farm Watch

15) The hens then meet their fateful end by being electrocuted, having their throats slit or are scalded to death.


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  • Dalton

    OMG…when do we get the food replicators? This barbaric treatment of animals must stop.

  • Anti Everything

    All good reasons why I grow and raise my own food.

  • Joan Camara

    Stop eating meat, and switch to ORGANIC diary!! I turned my whole diet around, and went to organic dairy, and I stopped eating all meat (you can get your protein from plants). I am a 5’4 lady, who was gaining weight, as I got older (50yr old). I got up to 175lbs, and was rising. When I switched over to organic vegetables, fruits. nuts, and grains, and hardly even exercised, the weight fell off within a few months. I got to 125lbs, and was steady from there.
    There is sooo many man made chemicals in all grocery store food. Not only that, but 95% of corn crops is this country is GMO. Again, most everything you eat in the grocery store, had this in it. Genetically modified organism, sound good to eat? Check your loaf of bread, and I can bet you that “high fructose CORN syrup” is one of the ingredients. This is in most everything in your grocery store food too. Give up all sodas, and juice. Find organic drinks. My Harris Teeter, has organic products all throughout the store. Even Walmart and Target on jumping on the organic bandwagon, because more people are realizing what the food corportations are putting in all our foods.
    Also factory farmed animals are given antibiotic shots, because they live in filth, and hormone shots to make them grow bigger…faster. And then, if that’s not bad enough, they eat GMO grain. Now all of that, is going into your body. Still want that milk and cheese, and hot dogs, and chicken, and beef? Not me!
    If everyone would switch to everything they eat and drink to organic, they wouldn’t believe the change in their looks, and how they feel!
    I did, and I sure won’t go back to regular grocery store food…AGAIN! The best things were all the compliments, but the worst thing about eating right, is once you lose all the unwanted weight, you have to go buy a whole new wardrobe! 🙂

  • Joan Camara

    Exactly what everyone should try to do. If they only knew that factory farmed animals are given antibiotic shots, because they live in filth, hormone shots to make the animal grow bigger, faster, and then they eat GMO (genetically modifed organism) grain, I think everyone would switch to drinking and eating organics! Even Walmart and Target stores are jumping on the organic bandwagon, because more people are realizing what the food corporations are doing to our food! I lost 50pds myself, by switching to organic fruits and vegetables, grains, and nuts, and I won’t ever go back to regular grocery store food! Of course, I also grow lots of vegetables in my garden.

  • Anti Everything

    Awesome. I especially like the food changing your body to the point you added health to your life,… and all it cost was 50# that you had in stock!

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