Battery Cages

Topics: Chicken, Poultry farming, Animal cruelty Pages: 3 (1245 words) Published: August 10, 2014
Battery cages
How have the demands of consumers influenced the way farmers manage their egg industry in Australia? Battery cages are cages in which farmers use in the egg industry to house hens. Around 8 to 10 hens are confined in the space about the size of a cabinet drawer. The eggs are laid onto wire cage floors and roll to the front of the cage for collection. Battery cages are stacked in rows on top of each other, so within a single building, hundreds of thousands of birds are housed. The wire floors are sloped at an angle so that the eggs are able to roll out of the cages. Although farmers can easily take advantage of this method of egg production as it reduces risks of disease, provides protection from predators and costs lower, this extreme procedure of collecting eggs from hens have generated controversy among advocates for industrial producers, animal rights and animal welfare, altering the way farmers produce eggs. The advantages of the battery cage egg production include the protection from the weather and predators like eagles, snakes, foxes and feral cats. Chickens are also less likely to be infected by manure-borne diseases and parasites along with having reduced need for veterinary. The environment is easy to control, meaning that temperature, feed and water, light level and period are adjustable. This results in an increase in the number of egg laid per year by each hen. The fact that the hens are in cages indicate that less labour is required to manage the equivalent number of hens (that are cage-free).The farmer can also easily do a stock count of the chickens and the chickens will not have access to the eggs because the eggs roll out of the hen’s reach after laying. Furthermore,it is much easier for the farmer to feed the chickens and provide water as these will be poured into the feeders and drinkers attached to the battery cages.Thus, wastage of food is reduced unlike in the cage-free system. The battery cage is better suited for farmers...

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