Essay on Animal Welfare : The Egg Industry

1085 Words Dec 9th, 2015 null Page
Animal Welfare in the Egg Industry
Hard-boiled, scrambled, sunny side up, poached, baked, or fried, eggs are one of the most common breakfast foods in America. With 50 billion eggs being produced per year in the United States alone, the treatment and welfare of chickens being used for egg production, referred to as layers, is crucial to consider. As egg producers own and manage the majority of their business, they are able to affect the entire process of how the layers are reared, fed, housed, managed, and marketed. With this amount of control in mind, commercial egg producers have come under fire for their choice of housing system for their layers. The most common form of housing, battery cages, prevents nearly all normal behavior, including nesting, perching, and dust bathing, all of which are critically important to the hen, as well as denies the bird’s normal movement to such an extent that the hens may suffer from physical ailments. Scientific evidence has also strongly suggested that switching to cage-free operations improves food safety. From hatching to slaughter, the welfare of layers is severely impaired in the commercial egg industry.
While the age-old question “what came first: the chicken or the egg?” may be up for debate, the commercial egg industry’s process starts with the egg. Hundreds of millions of chickens in the egg industry suffer from poor welfare throughout their lives, starting at hatching. “Male chicks will not mature to lay eggs and since…

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