We explain that because of selective breeding, hens today produce three to five times more eggs than their bodies can handle. Such high production takes a toll, drains their bones of calcium, causes ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, deadly infections, and injuries such as eggs lodging in their reproductive tracts. Still, egg producers use artificial lighting, set for prolonged periods, and forced moulting through restricted feeding to encourage hens to lay more.
People who brave the cage learn that chickens are social with rich emotional lives and distinct personalities, just like the cats and dogs they cherish as companion animals. In the past five years, Animal Place has rescued more than 16,000 hens from egg farms throughout California, and adopted most into loving homes.