Donate now to help Scotland's hens spread their wings.
Definition of mother hen: "a person who assumes an overly protective maternal attitude".
Hens need to walk, run, fly and peck, to stretch, flap their wings and roll in the dust. Yet so many spend their entire lives confined in tiny cages, deprived the opportunity to carry out their most natural behaviours. Our campaign will help put pressure on the Scottish Government to ban these cages once and for all but we need your help to make that happen. We want to see an end to cages and I’m sure you do too. Farm animals are sentient beings, who form strong bonds with their young and feel pain, just like we do. They deserve to have the best life possible.
Hens are intelligent and curious animals, They are highly maternal and begin communicating with their chicks by clucking, while sitting on their eggs. They prefer to lay their eggs in safe, private places where they feel safe from predators. They flap their wings, to stretch their muscles but also to communicate; they run, forage for food, sit on perches and take dust baths to keep their feathers clean.
That’s why I’m asking for your help this spring. Because there is a very dark side to the egg production story. Public demand for eggs is increasing. As a result, hens remain the most intensively farmed animals but we know people care. Sales of eggs from non-cage systems now outnumber those of caged eggs in the UK which is great news. But there are still millions of hens – at least 2 million in Scotland alone – living in cages to produce eggs at a lower cost.
While the conventional battery cage system may have been banned in Europe since 2012, hens can still be kept in so-called “enriched” cages for their entire lives. Each hen has little more than the size of an A4 piece of paper, a nest box, scratching mat and perch for which they must compete to share. They spend their whole lives trapped inside these cages, cramped alongside others, never seeing the sunshine, feeling the grass under their feet or even breathing fresh air. A hen could live for ten years or more and only produce around 20 eggs each year naturally. Hens living in these conditions are so intensively farmed, they produce up to 300 eggs per year and are then sent to slaughter when their egg production declines, between one to two years.
The lives these hens endure is harrowing. Chicks destined for cramped conditions such as these routinely experience “beak trimming” which can be a stressful experience. Beak trimming is carried out to reduce the damage a hen can do to another bird through feather-pecking – a behaviour whereby associated with the intensive conditions they are forced to live in. Meanwhile, male chicks are surplus to requirements for egg production with very few required for further breeding of egg laying hens and they are routinely killed shortly after birth.
We will continue working on campaigns to improve the welfare of all farm animals, but we can’t do it without you. We urgently need your help to continue fighting against animal cruelty. Please support our campaign today so we can keep the pressure on while raising awareness and building support to give our hens and farm animals a fulfilling life.
We need your help to #BanFarmAnimalCages.
Please donate to our spring appeal today and help end the suffering to Scotland's farm animals
OneKind has long campaigned to better the conditions facing millions of farm animals in Scotland. Our most recent work included:
- In 2018, we launched a campaign calling on the Scottish Government to ban the live exports of animals.
- Our 2018 campaign to bring in CCTV in Scottish abattoirs resulted in a commitment by the Scottish Government to introduce compulsory video recording in all relevant areas of slaughterhouses in Scotland.
- In 2019, we have been supporting Compassion in World Farming’s #EndCageAge campaign by calling for a ban on enriched cages for hens and farrowing crates for sows in Scotland.
Your support will enable us to continue researching, raising awareness and build support so we can keep the pressure on the Scottish Government until we see an end to farm animals kept in cages.
Thanks to Viva! for letting us use their image