Nearly 12 billion eggs are consumed in the UK every year, which is around 32 million a day.
Eggs are seen as a healthy, high protein diet staple, but over half of our chickens are still kept in cages, and only around 10% of chickens are considered higher welfare in this country. Though however hens are homed, there's still some fairly full on industrial practices which keep the coop in distress.
If you want to buy highest welfare chicken meat and eggs, buy Organic or Soil Association certificate eggs.
Avoid chicken and turn to other protein rich vegetables, there are loads!
Although battery cages are now banned in the UK, half of our chickens are still kept in 'enriched cages', which is startlingly similar to caged battery coops, and only around 10% are higher welfare. 70% of chickens worldwide are kept in intensive farms.
Most chickens will have their beaks trimmed with red hot irons, without aesthetic to prevent peck.
Chickens will be kept in dim lighting for up to 23 hours a day to avoid mental disturbance and cannibalism.
They will suffer eye conditions, respiratory problems and skin burns from the ammonia caused by the superfluity of droppings.
Enriched cages Cramped conditions with an A4 space of ground space per chicken.
Free range 10 chickens per square metre. Some outdoor space, that most chickens rarely see. 10,000 can be kept together. Male chicks are still crushed to death after birth.
RSPCA: 15 chickens per square metre. Sometimes given outdoor space, May occasionally have objects to distract them.
Red Tractor 19 chickens per square metre. No requirement for outdoor space, Also no natural light. And bred to grow unnaturally fast.
Organic Won't debeak, So chickens may peck each other. Organic farms only permit flocks of up to 2,500. However, male chick deaths are still permitted.
The Soil Association, Strives for the strictest and most ethical egg. Flocks of birds may not exceed 1,000 and organic certification excludes GM feed and antibiotics.
Naturally, chickens will lay between 20-30 eggs a year. However, industrially they are farmed to produce up to 300 a year.
After the eggs are hatched, male and female chicks are separated and males are killed. 40 million male chicks are killed each year as a result of the egg industry in the UK. Females then enter into egg-laying.
We permit both the use of gas and maceration for the killing of day old chicks. Done correctly, both methods can offer an effective and humane kill.
— RSPCA Tweet May 7, 2018