maryland egg farms

Esbenshade Egg Factory Farm - Battery Cage Experts

Excerpts from “Scientists and Experts on Battery Cages and Laying Hen Welfare,” as compiled by the Humane Society of the United States

Download entire PDF including citations.

Dr. Ian Duncanbattery cage
Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Canada

  • “Battery cages for laying hens have been shown (by me and others) to cause extreme frustration particularly when the hen wants to lay an egg. Battery cages are being phased out in Europe and other more humane husbandry systems are being developed.”
  • “Hens in battery cages are prevented from performing several natural behaviour patterns. … The biggest source of frustration is undoubtedly the lack of nesting opportunity.”
  • “The lack of space in battery cages reduces welfare by preventing hens from adopting certain postures—such as an erect posture with the head raised—and performing particular behaviors—such as wing-flapping.”
  • “[T]he difficulty of inspecting cages means that the welfare of the birds is at some risk.”

Dr. Joy Mench
Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis

  • “Battery cages provide an inadequate environment for nesting, lacking both sites which fit these criteria [concealment and separation from other birds] as well as substrates for nest-building. Hens housed in battery cages display agitated pacing and escape behaviors which last for 2 to 4 hours prior to oviposition [laying eggs].”
  • “Conventional cages for laying hens have pervasive problems for welfare.”

Dr. Lesley J. Rogers
Professor of Zoology, University of New England, Australia

  • “In no way can these living conditions [battery cages] meet the demands of a complex nervous system designed to form a multitude of memories and make complex decisions.”