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VegMedHat: Free-Range Eggs

Free-Range Eggs

The eggs people normally buy for cheapest price come from the 98% of Canadian egg-laying hens kept in crammed wire battery cages. While some people shop according to price, I would like to inform them of why their choice is important and which side they are supporting.

Battery cage conditions prevent chickens from performing their normal behaviors such as standing, stretching, privacy, grooming, dust and water bathing, wing flapping, nesting, developing healthy social relationships, and going outside. Common problems from this deprivation include osteoporosis, metabolic and respiratory diseases, painful foot lesions, and slow death via starvation and paralysis due to spinal compression. These environmental conditions leads to fear, apathy, boredom, and abnormal, often harmful behaviors, resulting in hens plucking each others feathers out, sometimes creating open wounds, some engaging in cannibalism, and when victimized the hen has no area to escape to. To prevent these frustration attacks portions of their beaks are sliced or lasered off, some are also starved to increase production (called forced molting) and they may have no lighting to save on costs.

There is an alternative, known as free-range eggs, where the chickens have access to the outside, more space per chicken and a much higher quality of life. These eggs have harder shells and yolks with an orange color, they are superior in nutritional content due to the greens and insects in the diet, having higher levels of Omega 3, Vitamins A and E, with lower levels of total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and Omega 6. Free range eggs are more expensive but that little extra worth goes a long way in support for a better life of hens who lay our eggs. Also, if you can purchase eggs locally that would be twice as nice! If it’s at all a topic of interest to you I encourage people to do their own research, battery cages are far worse than I went into detail with.

note: “free-run” means they have space to walk, which is better than battery cages, but unlike “free-range” they aren’t necessarily allowed to go outside.

Images taken from Wikipedia: Free Range Chicken Flock & Industrial Chicken Coop

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