Freedom Lost, Factory Farming With Egg Laying Chickens
Upper Iowa University
Filth, confinement, disease, mutilation, and deprivation are a few things that come to mind when factory farming is mentioned. It is a rapidly growing problem in the United States. Factory farming first started in the 1930’s on a low scale. New kinds of incubators lead to chickens being able to be produced in larger quantities in large scale operations. After World War II the increased demand of eggs led to specialized breading and an increase in factory farming in the United States. Soon following suit between the 1960’s and 1970’s was the boom of fast food chains thus increasing the demand for ...view middle of the document...
They do this while the chicken is at any stage of life, even in their prime. The bird does not always die however, and it has been recorded that live hens will crawl out from piles of decomposing chickens. It is extremely disgusting to think of crawling out from rotting bodies while still alive. Things of this nature happen all the time in factory farming, and a big reason is due to the filth and confinement these hens are forced to live with.
In a factory farm over one hundred thousand hens are kept in battery cages piled on top of each other forming towers. Ninety-five percent of the hens that produce eggs in the United States are kept in these battery style cages (Sanctuary, 2012). They are allotted, under government regulation, only sixty-seven square inches of living space per hen, and five to ten chickens per cage depending on size (Sanctuary, 2012). That is less than the size of a normal size piece of paper. This extreme confinement results in the hens at a young age having their beaks cut off with a hot blade to reduce violent behavior that is a result of high stress. The claustrophobic confinement results also in constant rubbing against the wire cage, from all angles, which causes severe feather loss. Due to the hens not having the protective barrier of the feathers, they will get large bruises and sores all over. The extreme confinement also results in a lot of disease, due to wanting to be as profitable as possible no hen is allowed any kind of veterinary assistance. Which means that if a hen falls ridden with disease, it must suffer and live with it or die. These diseased hens are still kept with the non-diseased hens, and are required to continue laying eggs that will later be packaged for human consumption. No need to worry though, it only gets worse.
In Ohio, there is a factory farm called Ohio Fresh Egg, they are the largest factory farm in Ohio. When a team of Mercy for Animals investigators went in undercover to show the public the astronomical amount of disturbing things happening in these places of work, it was shocking what things that are allowed to take place. All of the hens are practically naked, and what feathers they do have are thin, yellow and sickly. Thousands of hens have highly infected legions, and eyes so swollen and puss ridden, the hen cannot see. Thousands of more hens are trapped by getting stuck in the wire cage. One hen in particular had the skin of her neck snagged on the top of the cage and had peeled half of her neck raw to the muscle on the inside. Others had their necks trapped under the feeding tray and experienced a long death of starvation and dehydration. To make a bad situation worse, the hens that do die from being stuck in the unsafe battery cages, are left in the cage. Laying amongst the other living chickens decaying and bug infested. Meanwhile the other hens still lay eggs all around the decaying chicken and on top of her (Mercy for Animals, 2014). All of these eggs are laid surrounded...