New Eyewitness Video Reveals Crowding and No Range at ‘Free-Range’ Egg Farm

PETA Warns Consumers That So-Called 'Happy' Hens Are Suffering for Nellie's 'Free-Range' Eggs, Sold at Whole Foods, Costco, and Elsewhere

For Immediate Release:
February 28, 2018

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Womelsdorf, Pa. – New PETA eyewitness footage from an egg farm in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, that supplies eggs for Monroe, New Hampshire-based Nellie’s Free Range Eggs—sold at Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods, and other major grocery chains—reveals that hens are crammed into a crowded shed with only occasional, severely restricted access to an outdoor “prison yard”—if they can fight their way to the hatchways—and that the animals have only 1.2 square feet of floor space each, which is barely larger than their bodies.

“The footage of stressed hens crammed wing-to-wing certainly debunks the egg industry’s myth about “free-range” hens and how they live,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “The only truly cruelty-free label is ‘vegan,’ and PETA is asking anyone who feels misled by Nellie’s claims about ‘free-range’ eggs to come forward.”

The tips of these hens’ beaks were sliced off to prevent cannibalism, which can occur among densely packed and stressed chickens, and many of the hens—who had to push past other frantic or socially dominant birds to reach small hatches to access the outdoor area—were missing feathers, which could have been caused by attacks from others or self-inflicted as a result of stress and trauma.

A Nellie’s employee stated that the birds are slaughtered when their productivity drops after laying approximately one egg every day for 13 months. He said that this rate of egg production depletes their bodies of calcium, causing the resulting fragile eggs to “leech into the profits.”

Broadcast-quality video footage is available upon request, and photos are available here. PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat.” For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind