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by Animals Australia supporters this year*
HELP REACH 200,000!
As of:
By providing your email address here you will receive Animals Australia e-news.
* Figure based on Australian egg consumption per capita per year (AECL); the average lifespan of a battery hen (18 months); the average number of eggs produced per hen per year (AECL); and 274,079 online pledges to help end factory farming.
Photo: Tamara Kenneally
  • FACT 1: Just like us, or the family dog or cat, hens are individuals with unique personalities! A hen might be outgoing and sociable, or shy and reserved, depending on her character.
  • FACT 2: Hens can recognise the faces of at least 100 other chickens, helping them to navigate their complex social hierarchy.
  • FACT 3: Naturally curious and intelligent animals, hens love to explore and investigate the world around them through their keen senses. They even see colour better than humans!
  • FACT 4: Hens have the ability to understand that an object, when taken away and hidden, continues to exist. This is a cognitive capacity beyond that of small children.
  • FACT 5: It may all sound like "cluck cluck cluck" to us, but hens use at least 24 different calls and they all vary depending on what information they are communicating.
  • FACT 6: If there is a threat approaching, a hen can vary her call depending on whether the predator is travelling by land or over water.
  • FACT 7: A hen will cluck softly to her unborn chicks, to start teaching them how to communicate before they even hatch. And her chicks chirp back from inside their shells!
  • FACT 8: One of a hen's fundamental desires is to build a nest and lay her eggs in private. Factory farms force her to eat, sleep and lay eggs in a crowded cage.
  • FACT 9: Most caged hens never experience such simple joys as feeling the sun on their feathers, dust-bathing, or exploring the world around them.
  • FACT 10: Sadly, the first day many hens will experience the outside world will be the last day of their life, as they are trucked to slaughter.
  • FACT 11: Hen's beaks are especially adapted to peck and forage for food on the ground, with a high concentration of touch receptors and sensory nerves.
  • FACT 12: But the egg industry’s solution to a caged hen's chronic frustration, often manifested in pecking her cage mates, is to painfully slice off the end of her sensitive beak.
  • FACT 13: A lack of exercise causes a hen's bones to become weak, brittle and break easily. Studies have shown that 1 in 6 hens inside battery cages live with broken bones.
  • FACT 14: Hens in battery cages spend their entire lives existing in less space each than a single piece of A4-sized paper.
  • FACT 15: A caged hen has no room to stretch out and flap her wings, perch or express any of the behaviours that nature intended.
  • FACT 16: Chickens can live to 12 years. But from as young as 18 months, when their egg production wanes, hens across the egg industry are gathered up and sent to slaughter.
  • FACT 17: Every year, millions of male chicks are gassed or dropped into grinders alive, because they will never lay eggs.
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Don't get in a flap about confusing egg labels! Use our handy chart to know exactly what different egg systems mean for chickens... Learn more »

Cage Barn laid Certified free range1 Certified organic2
Are hens confined in cages? YES NO NO NO
Are hens provided with a nest/perch? NO YES YES YES
Do hens have space to flap their wings/exercise? NO YES (restricted)4 YES YES
Do hens have access to an outdoor range? NO NO YES YES
Are hens allowed to be 'debeaked'? YES YES MAYBE
(depends on certification body)3
Are male chicks killed at birth?** YES YES YES YES
Are hens sent to slaughter from 18 months old?** YES YES YES YES
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