Article Text

The welfare problems of laying hens in battery cages
  1. MR Baxter
  1. Design Research Centre, Brunel University, Egham, Surrey.

Abstract

So far as feeding, health and protection from cannibalism are concerned, the welfare needs of laying hens can be well catered for in cages. In other respects, however, cages fail to provide for hens' welfare needs. Deprived of litter, caged hens are prevented from dust bathing and foraging. Without access to a nest site, nesting motivation is frustrated and without a perch, roosting is prevented. Restrictions on movement within a cage cause frustration and prevent normal bone maintenance, particularly in the legs and wings. Confinement in a battery cage is concluded to cause suffering to laying hens in several different ways.

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