Layer Hens

Animal Page


Hens Deserve Better

Caged hens spend their lives in the space of an A4 sheet of paper. It’s like you trying to live in the space of a portaloo. And about 70% of eggs consumed by Australian come from caged hens.

When confined to cages, hens are unable to express their most basic of natural behaviours, including walking, flying, hiding, stretching, perching, nesting and dust bathing - behaviours that make a hen, a hen. Physical problems caused by cages include feather loss and foot problems and brittle bones. Hens also have no escape from aggression, feather pecking and cannibalism.

In Australia, the industrialisation of farming has cost layer hens dearly. The increase in demand and the need to produce food as efficiently and cost effectively as possible has resulted in many welfare compromises over the years - including barren battery cages for hens.

what RSPCA TASMANIA is doing

We aim to make people aware that all animals used by humans must be treated humanely and compassionately. For many years we have been campaigning against battery cages in egg production. Plus, our Humane Food activities form part of RSPCA Australia's efforts in improving the welfare of farm production animals.

The RSPCA tries hard to improve legislation covering layer-hen welfare, egg production and marketing. The RSPCA is not always successful against the strength of other interests, but it certainly makes a difference, in many cases simply by moving those other interests towards the RSPCA position of good welfare for layer hens.

You can help support our efforts: make sure the next carton of eggs, or the next chicken product, you buy has the RSPCA Approved Farming logo.


Hens Deserve Better

There are approximately 16.3 million laying hens in Australia. Eleven million of these curious and busy birds are subjected to a life of continuous confinement in battery cages. The other 5.15 million, or approximately 30 per cent, live cage-free lives where they're able to stretch their wings and lay their eggs in a nest.

With your help we can end this life of confinement. Take action and help us get hens out of cages at

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