The egg-laying hens needs a better layer chicken cages to adapt to the growth of laying chickens.In order to improve the egg production of egg-laying hens, the layer cages should meet some special requirements. Therefore, Livi designs and manufactures the poultry cages for layers.
The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers took a small step toward better conditions for chickens in the egg industry. On July 7, the two organizations agreed to work together to pass federal legislation for the 280 million egg-laying hens in the U.S.
According to the HSUS’s press release, at least 92 percent of egg-laying hens in the U.S. are confined in “battery cages” so small the chickens can’t spread their wings. Of the country’s 280 million egg-laying hens, three in four are given about as much space as two-thirds a sheet of paper, while 50 million hens are provided with just 48 square inches, about half a sheet of paper per bird.
These cramped cages are also bare—they don’t provide hens with tools needed for natural behaviors, like laying their eggs in nests, perching or scratching. All they can do is eat, sleep, poop and lay eggs. And this only scratches the surface of the animal welfare problems in the egg industry, as the HSUS’s CEO and president, Wayne Pacelle, wrote in his blog.
If this legislation passes, battery cages would be phased out and replaced with “enriched colony cages.” According to the UEP’s press release, these new cages would give each hen a minimum of 124 square inches, or about one square foot, as well as nesting boxes, perches and scratching areas. The photo at left shows the space the average industrial egg-laying hen is given (orange square) compared with the proposed amount on which each chicken would live her entire life (red square).
The law would also prohibit withholding feed or water for up to two weeks from the hens in order to induce molting and increase productivity. The proposed legislation would implement euthanasia standards for hens and prohibit excessive ammonia levels, a common problem in hen houses that’s harmful to both the hens and the egg industry workers.
The last requirement would labels on all egg cartons that identify the method used to produce the eggs, such as “eggs from caged hens,” eggs from cage-free hens” or “eggs from free-range hens.” The new labeling system would let people recognize and choose eggs produced with higher animal welfare standards, the HSUS said.
All eggs and eggs products that don’t meet these requirements would be illegal. Some regulations would be implemented almost immediately after the law’s enactment, such as the molting, ammonia and euthanasia standards, according to Pacelle’s blog post about the agreement. Other changes, like labeling and the requirement that each bird has at least 67 square inches of space, would take a few more years, while the switch from “battery cages” to “enriched colony cages” would take 15 to 18 years.
These may seem like small steps—indeed, the HSUS has been criticized for backing down from its original, much tougher stance—but chickens have never been protected under federal law. Regulations passed more than 30 years ago that don’t specify factory farms protect some other farm animals. Because the legislation would be the first to monitor the treatment of animals in factory farms, animal rights advocates hope the laws will move Congress to enact similar ones for other livestock, such as cows, pigs, sheep, goats, horses and chickens raised for meat.
Write to members of Congress in support of this legislation.
Although “enriched colony cages” are an improvement over “barren battery cages,” the HSUS said, it will continue to advocate switching to “cage-free” eggs because furnished cages still severely restrict movement and limit the chickens’ behavior.