Eggstreme Cruelty to Animals

Virtually all chickens start off life at industrial hatcheries. Male chicks, who will never lay eggs and don’t grow fast enough for meat production, are typically ground up alive. Females have the tips of their sensitive beaks cut or burned off before they are shipped to egg factory farms. This painful mutilation is meant to prevent hens from pecking each other in stressful, overcrowded conditions.

At most egg factory farms, hens are crammed into barren wire cages. These cages are stacked in tiers inside giant windowless sheds that can run the length of two football fields. Each bird has less floor space than the size of a sheet of notebook paper for nearly her entire life. In such extreme confinement, these poor animals can’t even spread their wings, much less move around without stepping on and climbing over other hens.

Confining hens in cages is so cruel that the states of California and Michigan have banned the practice. Massachusetts and Rhode Island are currently considering similar bans.

Additionally, leading food retailers, such as Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, Costco, and Target, and nearly 100 other retailers, restaurants, foodservice companies, and food manufacturers have pledged to go cage-free in the last year. Even McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway have demanded their egg suppliers stop cramming hens into tiny cages.

The Rotten Egg Industry

Undercover investigations by MFA at egg factory farms across North America have exposed widespread animal abuse and suffering.

Creekside Farms and Kuku FarmsAlberta 2013

Undercover video taken at farms supplying McDonald's Canada’s exclusive egg provider reveals hens crammed inside tiny wire battery cages, workers smashing in the heads of baby birds and tossing live chicks into trash bags to suffocate, and dead hens left to rot in cages with live birds.

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

Sparboe FarmsIowa, Minnesota, Colorado 2011

This investigation exposed the secret ingredient in McDonald’s Egg McMuffins: horrific animal abuse. After the investigation garnered international media attention, including on Good Morning America and 20/20, Target and Sam’s Club terminated their contracts with Sparboe Farms.

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

Hy-Line HatcheryIowa 2009

At the world’s largest hatchery for egg-laying chickens, day-old baby birds are thrown, mutilated without painkillers, and violently killed. This investigation, which sparked international outcry, revealed the standard egg industry practice of throwing unwanted male chicks into a macerator to be ground up alive.

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

Quality Egg of New EnglandMaine 2009

This investigation prompted a raid by state police and led the owner of the facility to plead guilty to 10 counts of cruelty to animals, agree to pay over $130,000 in fines and restitution, and hand over authority to the state of Maine to conduct unannounced inspections for five years.

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

Gemperle EnterprisesCalifornia 2008

Covert footage recorded at one of the nation’s largest egg producers uncovered hens left to suffer from untreated injuries and infections and workers roughly cramming birds into cages; tearing birds out of cages by their fragile wings; kicking, stomping, and throwing them; and hurling them into “kill carts.”

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

Norco RanchCalifornia 2008

Just weeks before California voted on Proposition 2 to give egg-laying hens enough room to walk, stand, and stretch their limbs, MFA released this startling footage from inside the state’s largest egg producer. Prop 2 passed with overwhelming support, making California the first state to ban battery cages.

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

Ohio Fresh EggsOhio 2004

At Ohio’s largest egg factory farm, millions of hens are crammed into barren battery cages so small each bird has less living space than the size of a sheet of notebook paper for her entire life. From the time they hatch until they are violently killed, their lives are filled with misery and deprivation.

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

Weaver Brothers Egg FarmOhio 2002

Video footage recorded at this United Egg Producers “Animal Care Certified” facility reveals hens coated in feces and packed in tiny cages, birds suffering from untreated infections, corpses left to rot on cage floors, birds trapped in cage wire, and a live hen left to die in a trash bin.

Watch the hidden-camera footage here:

You can help. Sign the petition calling on the egg industry to stop torturing hens in battery cages.