Chickens don’t need to be killed for their eggs, right? While both male and female chickens can be raised for meat, only females can produce eggs, so about 346 million male chicks per year are disposed of by being shoved into plastic bags and left to suffocate. They cannot be raised profitably as “broilers” or “fryers” because they have not been engineered to produce a lot of muscle.
Conditions at egg factory farms are atrocious. Cage floors are of wire mesh so waste falls from the upper tiers onto the chickens below. A single cage, roughly 16 by 18 inches, holds five to six hens, each with a wingspan of 32 inches. Hens bred to be super layers experience so much stress that their accelerated laying span lasts only a year and a half—two years at most—compared with the 15 to 20 years that hens produce eggs under natural conditions. Hens today lay about twice as many eggs per year as hens laid several decades ago, before factory farming, and their tired bodies pay the price.
To learn more about how chickens are raised, please click here.