Which Came First, The Gentle Hen or The Cage?
Egg-laying hens in confinement bear some of the worst abuses the agricultural industry offers. To the detriment of their own well-being, hens are bred for increasing egg production. In an attempt to further maximize production and minimize costs, birds’ beaks are cut off and they are caged. Confined to cages, hens suffer deprivation, torment, aggression, cannibalism and death.
Regrettably, a team of government and academic scientists misguidedly seek to justify cages and have developed so-called gentler laying hens who "display far less aggression than their commercial counterparts." Birds selected for breeding were chosen for "production traits" as well as their lack of "competitive interactions."
Though researchers observed reduced "mortality losses among the birds without the usual beak-trimming," creating more docile hens does not eliminate the inherent harm of confinement. The real solution to end the suffering and cage induced aggression and mortality is to release hens and provide them adequate space to express natural behaviors such as stretching their wings, walking, nest building and dust bathing.