"Our customers are increasingly interested in knowing more about their food and where it comes from," said Mike Andres, McDonald's USA president, in a press release.
The more humane move comes as little surprise. McDonald's has been losing money and recently shuttered 700 stores because of plummeting profits.
As people are becoming progressively concerned about the welfare of animals used in agriculture, including those in large factory farming facilities, the cage-free movement is becoming more and more common. In 2014, Starbucks announced it would go cage-free in an "unprecedented" move, after an online petition garnered over 130,000 signatures. Burger King made the promise to go cage-free three years ago, and is supposed to complete the transition by 2017.
Cage-free hens are spared some very cruel realities suffered by battery-caged hens in the egg-laying industry.