This Saturday (24th November) from 11.30 -130 outside the Wintergarden on the Mall, shoppers will have a chance to experience what it’s like to be a battery hen!
A Perspex cage measuring 1830H x 475mm x475mm will be erected and this space is the human equivalent to the space that a hen has in a battery cage. RSPCA Qld’s mobile education EMU has a similar cage structure and it’s a huge hit with children and teachers who are usually amazed at just how little space there is.
The event will also showcase the large number of businesses who have already made the switch to cage free.
- Battery cages are small, barren wire cages; there are many thousands of cages stacked in sheds that may contain up to 100,000 birds.
- The space given to each bird is less than the size of a piece of A4 paper and cages are only 40 cm high.
- Hens do not have enough space to stretch or flap their wings, or exercise.
- Scientific studies indicate that battery hens suffer in battery cages. Restricted movement, constantly standing on a wire floor, and a lack of perches lead to severe bone and muscle weakness.
- Hens cannot express normal behaviours which they are highly motivated to perform, such as wing flapping, scratching the ground, dust bathing, perching, nesting, and foraging.
- Caged hens do not have ‘personal space’ so they cannot escape aggression from other hens.
- Battery cages have no nesting area — nesting before and during egg laying is a priority for hens and this deficiency frustrates and distresses them.
In Australia, more and more people have been buying cage-free eggs at the supermarket over the past 5 years. Despite this, more than 11 million layer hens, or around two-thirds of all layer hens in Australia, are still confined to battery cages.