Well, this is the reality for over 10 million Australian hens who are still confined to barren battery cages with no space to stretch their wings.
This year there will be a once-in-20-year decision on whether to end the use of barren battery cages for good. If you care about animals, it is important to take action now, because if we don’t, hens could continue to suffer in barren battery cages for another 20 years or more. State and territory governments need to know that this is an issue the community cares about.
A battery cage is a small, barren wire cage, about 40cm tall that is used to house egg-laying hens. The space given to each bird is less than the size of a piece of A4 paper! Thousands of cages are stacked in sheds that may contain up to 100,000 birds. They are called battery cages because the stacks of cages resemble the cells of a battery unit. Each cage has 4-7 hens, standing on a wire floor all day and night. Hens cannot move around freely or flap their wings due to a lack of space and without adequate space, nests, perches and dust to bathe in, they can’t express normal behaviours.
Constantly standing on a wire floor and not being able to move around freely is enough to give anyone aching bones and other health issues. The hens have no perches to stand on which leads to severe bone and muscle weakness. They suffer from the highest rates of disuse osteoporosis, fatty liver disease and bone breakage when they’re finally removed from their cage. Because the hens are restricted in movement and other simple gestures, they become stressed and frustrated. All of these issues are from the battery cage itself, and can’t be overcome by – for example – good management. So it’s logical that to help our hens have a better life, battery cage life has to end! You can learn more about why the RSPCA is opposed to battery cages here.
You can help! The best way to make a change is to take action, let the whole world know especially the government, how important it is to end battery cages. Share our RSPCA campaign with friends, family, and even your neighbours to encourage others to take action. Supporting brands that have already made the switch to cage-free eggs is another way to help. Use our Cage Free & Proud directory and support restaurants and cafes near you who are serving higher welfare food through our Choose Wisely initiative.Make 2021 the year that Australia says bye bye to battery cages for good!