Types of Living Conditions in Egg Factories

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Imagine ordering a delicious box of chicken nuggets, it comes to your table, and you open the box. The smell wafts out, and your mouth starts to water, and you can’t wait to sink your teeth into that delicious breaded goodness. But, once you hear the story of how horribly chickens are treated, and all their terrible living conditions, it won’t sound so scrumptious anymore. Chickens deserve better living conditions, because first, they are very social animals, but being in factories, cannot follow

their instincts, being intelligent and gregarious animals. Second, the factory living conditions are terrible, so dirty and crowded that chickens are housed in a cage that gives them less space than a sheet of letter sized paper, and last, arsenic, a chemical that is fed to factory chickens, because it is believed to promote growth, can cause cancer for humans.

Chickens should have better living conditions because they are social animals, but when they’re in factories, they can’t follow their instincts to form a flock and be with other chickens. Chickens are gregarious animals, usually found in flocks. Chickens have a complex social hierarchy, establishing a pecking order. Similar to an ecosystem, when one chicken is removed from the pecking order, the flock is sent into a disruption until a new chicken is found to replace it. When chickens

are in factories, they cannot follow their natural instincts, such as roosting in trees, laying in the sun, or taking dust baths. Studies have shown that chickens have good memories, and can add and subtract. In one study, chicks were hatched with five objects, and when scientists put three objects behind one screen, and two behind the other, the chicks chose the one with three objects. Later, the scientists started moving the objects between the two screens. At the end, the chicks still chose

the one with more of the objects. This study shows that chickens are smart, from hatching. Such intelligent animals shouldn’t be housed in a dirty, grimy cages, have never and will never see the sunlight, stuck in this wired box of torture for eternity.

Next, the living conditions in factories are very dirty and cramped, cages being small, five to ten chickens in one cage. Because of the tiny space, chickens often suffer from feather loss, cuts and scrapes, bruises, and usually have to stand atop other chickens. Factory chickens are usually covered with pink spots, where all the rubbing against cage wires has worn down the feathers to the flesh. They are poking their heads between the cage wires, anxious to be let out, but not knowing

they will never be free. Some poultry industries have switched to cage free systems, and chickens can walk around and spread their wings. These chickens are usually housed on farms. But just because they are cage free, doesn’t mean they are cruelty free. Both cage free and cage chickens have their beaks seared off with hot irons, and both die usually when they are under the age of two. Dr. Michael Appleby, one of the world's leading poultry welfare experts, writes:

'Battery cages present inherent animal welfare problems, most notably by their small size and barren conditions. Hens are unable to engage in many of their natural behaviors and endure high levels of stress and frustration. Cage-free egg production, while not perfect, does not entail such inherent animal welfare disadvantages and is a very good step in the right direction for the egg industry.'

Last, a 2006 study has shown that chicken meat contained a high amount of arsenic, a chemical that may cause cancer. Arsenic is a natural element, found in soil, air, and water, and also animals. There are two types of arsenic, organic, and inorganic, organic being arsenic only mixed with carbon, inorganic being it mixed with compounds other than carbon. Organic arsenic is found in some foods such as fish and shellfish, which is much less toxic, while inorganic is found in contaminated water, and

some treated woods, and is known to cause cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, poultry is one of the highest sources of arsenic. The IARC(International Agency for Research on Cancer), which is part of WHO(World Health Organization) classifies arsenic compounds carcinogenic to humans. It can also cause bruising, muscle weakness, diarrhea, and skin changes and rashes.

In conclusion, chickens should have more humane living conditions because they are very social animals, the living places are terrible, and chicken can cause cancer. Chickens provide us many benefits, and we should treat these animals that are so important to our society with respect.

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Types of Living Conditions in Egg Factories. (2021, Apr 03). Retrieved June 16, 2024 , from

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