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Do your eggs come from happy hens?

EGGS Do your eggs come from happy hens? eggs are layed by the average hen yearly, versus 100 a century ago. Consumption of eggs in the US per capita annually Egg Products 76 248 Shell Eggs 172 eggs a year. of eggs produced in the US are from 95% caged hens. That is approximately 266 million hens. Caged Hens have little space. can't do normal hen things. In the small, crowded cages, hens can't: ... forage - a natural behavior that reduces abnormal feather pecking. 11" nest - without the ability to nest, hens become stressed and anxious. perch - important to maintaining good bone strength and volume. 8.5" "On average, each caged laying hen is afforded only 67 square inches of cage space-less space than a single sheet of letter-sized paper on which to live her entire life." - The Humane Society dust bathe - which reduces stress in hens and keeps their skin and feathers healthy. exercise - important in avoiding osteoporosis. Cages: Not The Only Problem Limited Outdoor Access Cage-free does not mean having access to daylight or the outdoors. While free-range hens have access to the outdoors, the duration and quality are not defined. While cage-free eggs do ensure that chickens are able to exhibit natural behaviors and live a more normal life, the plight of the egg-laying hen does not end there. Beak trimming Forced Molting To make hens produce more eggs, producers may starve the hens for 7-14 days, causing the hens to lose weight, lose feathers and, in some cases, die. To reduce feather pecking behavior, hens' beaks may be trimmed when they are just chicks. This prac- tice causes the hens severe acute and chronic pain. Egg Carton Labels and What They Mean Choosing a cage-free egg is a worthwhile investment in the hens' welfare. However, it does not guarantee that the hens live a completely healthy life. Here are what some of the common egg labels cover: Caged Cage-Free Free-Range Organic Able to nest, perch & spread their wings Required outdoor access Specified quality & duration of ndoor access Beak cutting outdoor forbidden Forced molting Forbidden Compliance verification via 3rd party Humane Certifications Various humane certifications specifically address aspects of the treatment of the hens. Some are better and stricter than others. American Humane Certified Food Alliance Certified Animal Welfare Certified Humane Approved Able to nest, perch & spread their wings Required outdoor access Specified quality & duration of outdoor access Beak cutting forbidden Forced molting forbidden Compliance verification via 3rd party Pastured Poultry Due to broadness of the term "free-range", many producers have adopted the pastured poultry model, in which the hens live their lives on a green pasture in the "old-fashioned" way. While this is not a certified term, a little research can assure you that the spirit of the term "pastured" is met: Buy from farms, producers and companies you trust. Take a tour of the farm to see for yourself. Verify that the farm is a member of the American Pastured Poultry Producers' Assocation (APPPA) Sources: USDA FSIS | United Egg Producers (UEP) | APPPA Department of Animal Sciences, UC Riverside Universities Federation for Animal Welfare The Humane Society of the United States Created by Kristin Lindquist

Do your eggs come from happy hens?

shared by kristinlindquist on Aug 25
An infographic about aspects of egg-layer hen treatment, and what various egg carton labels and certifications actually guarantee.


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