Sick, injured, and surrounded by manure—new never-before-seen footage reveals what life is like for hens at an egg farm in Mexico. Although the company that owns the farm claims its chickens are happy and free, our footage reveals the true story.
A brave Mercy For Animals investigator went undercover, documenting the roughly 200,000 hens trapped in the farm. The footage shows thousands of chickens crammed together in filthy cages, unable to walk freely, spread their wings, or rest comfortably. Some chickens die after becoming trapped in cage wire. Others fall into the pits of feces and urine below the cages and are unable to escape. In one clip, a hen who managed to free herself from the sludge is beaten with a stick and cruelly thrown.
Hens used for eggs are typically bred to lay as many eggs as possible, which has devastating effects on their bodies. Mercy For Animals’ new footage shows chickens suffering from prolapses, their organs protruding from their bodies. Our investigator did not witness any birds receiving veterinary care. Sadly, this is a common ailment at egg farms worldwide. Laying so many eggs also depletes the hens’ bodies of calcium. As a result, their bones often become brittle. A previous investigation documented birds with so little calcium left in their bodies that they laid eggs without shells.
While the conditions at egg farms are appalling, the egg industry begins abusing chickens from the moment they hatch. Shortly after they come into the world, chicks are separated by gender. Females are relegated to the same tragic fate as their mothers—being crammed into cages and forced to lay eggs until their bodies are spent. But because males do not lay eggs, they are considered “useless” by the industry and are often either gassed to death or ground up alive in macerators.
The best way to help animals in the egg industry is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of eggs and products that contain eggs.