More sugar coating of egg production – aka Alternative Facts

So…fancy some alternate facts? Read this emotional ‘plea’ to ‘save’ spent hens. They are barely a year old and looking for new homes Source: Hens could be slaughtered – unless people don’t come forward to offer them new homes – Coventry Telegraph

Yep, you read it right, farmer goes and buys 5,000 hens, puts them in a system where once they reach that ripe old age of around 72 weeks they are so desperately in need of a rest from laying eggs and want to moult that they slow down layning and therefore cease to be economically viable so get killed

It is the nature of that farming system. The ‘product’ or should we say livestock consequence is referred to as a ‘spent hen’. The value of a spent hen is around 10-30p per bird. All will go for processing returning a small payment of at least £500. Not much and but it is how millions of hens are disposed of because that is the nature of commercial egg production. Sell them all for £2.50 and you make a tidy £12,500 instead. Sure not all of them will get sold via that channel but sell 1000 and you get £2,500 plus the £400 for the remainder to be sold as ‘spent’, a far more tidy outcome for the disposal of a by-product of egg production.

I know I’m preaching to the converted if you read this blog but for the sake of the hens, poultry keepers and the industry as a whole, lets have a bit of transparency and stop inferring the producer is anything other than complicit in the fate of such animals and start reporting the actual facts.

And if you feel you might have read this rant before by me then you are not wrong… it was almost a year to the day that a similar story appeared in a paper and I blogged on it then



3 Replies to “More sugar coating of egg production – aka Alternative Facts”

  1. Ive been asked for a donation of £5 for ex farm hen from hen charities so its not just farmers
    I asked one hen rescue charity if they would donate a dozen hen to a garden project i run for disabled people they told me min £2.50 each
    When i said it is not for profit and has no funding except a few pounds we rase now and again i was told we will call you back STILlL WAITING
    So dont just have a go at the farmers when money is involed only a few actually care

    1. Thanks for the comment Richard. My view however wasn’t one directed at farmers, the commercial egg industry works according to the demands of the consumer. It was more a case of misrepresenting the fate of the commercial laying hens in a veiled attempt to make additional income.
      With regard to the rescue charities, I guess it could be argued that they have overheads (plus they will have to pay a fee to the producers who are releasing the hens).
      Some clear unambiguous reporting would be nice though don’t you agree?

      1. Yes i agree
        But look at the world drugs in sport programs in cars to fake emissions
        What hope has anyone got of hearing honest facts
        And animals come well down the list of care caged hens puppy farms
        Its a sad world really but carry on fighting for whats right one day we will be heard

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