Activist Statements about the Egg Industry*

The American egg industry sells eggs produced by more than 300 million laying hens. The vast majority of hens are confined in "battery cages." The hens that live under such conditions undergo several crippling effects. Some examples of these effects include bone weakness and breakage, feather loss, and numerous diseases.

A significant complaint about the egg industry stems from the notion that male chicks, which are hatched along with female chicks in industrial incubators, are worthless to the egg industry. This means that male chicks are killed shortly after birth by methods such as gassing, crushing, or suffocation. In addition, female chicks have their beaks partly removed through the use of a hot blade in order to prevent the hens from pecking each other.

Another common egg industry procedure that is criticized by animal activist groups is "forced molting." This entails the withholding of food from hens for a period of 10 to 14 days at the end of their laying cycle. The hens' bodies go into a state of shock and therefore produce an additional laying cycle. In addition to the above-mentioned objections put forth about the egg industry, it is important to note that birds are not included within the protections provided by the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. This means that birds are not required to be unconscious before being killed.

*These statements about the egg industry have been compiled from Compassion Over Killing (COK).

Undercover Investigation by Compassion Over Killing