Battery Hens: If this Doesn’t Make You Go Vegan I don’t Know What Will

“One robin caged and Heaven’s mad! But when to just that one you add vast flocks of battered battery birds and half starved calves in crated herds and multitudes of tethered sows in narrow stalls – these horrors rouse all Heaven to a rage so wild it’s former rage seems a wonderous mild.”
Patrick Allen

Recently I came across the following heartbreaking video concerning the abandonment of 50,000 chickens, living sentient beings trapped in tiny wire floor cages abandoned and left to starve to death.

Watch the video of the rescue in 2012 of some of the birds – sadly out of 50,000 only about 4,000 were able to be rescued thanks to the determination of Animal Place volunteers.

About the film: “Go inside the largest rescue of farm animals in California history. Follow Animal Place rescuers as they negotiate the release of 4,460 hens from a battery cage egg farm, where the egg farmer had abandoned 50,000 hens without food for more than two weeks.”

While the dedication and determination of Animal Place and other volunteers is inspiring, the way in which these poor creatures where treated is appalling. Many of those who survived the horror of two weeks without water or food where systematically piled up, shoved into tin boxes and gassed. It brought to mind the comparison of factory farming with the evils of the holocaust. The rescuers had to contend  with Animal Services who would not at first allow the hens that were still alive to be rescued. Undaunted Animal Place volunteers went to the farm but were told to vacate the property while thousands of suffering birds were gassed to death and thousands more dead animals were scoop up in dump trucks like so much garbage ;

Read the following extract from

Turklock Rescue org

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

4:00 pm – “Doing a last check of an event posting when I see the headline, ’50,000 hens starved in Turlock’.” – Marji Beach, Education Manager

4:05-5:30 pm – “Calls are put into the Stanislaus County Animal Control department and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, located an hour from the egg farm. We send two staff from Vacaville down immediately.” – Kim Sturla, Executive Director

7:00 pm – “I call the director at animal services. She is told by state veterinarians we can’t take any birds. I won’t take no for an answer. There are thousands still alive.”– Kim Sturla

8:00 pm – “We arrive at the farm, only to be told to get off the property. We watch dump truck after dump truck come to gather dead birds. We can see workers gas the suffering hens.” – David Phinney, Animal Care Coordinator

Read more from the rescue diaries

Again back in 2012  half a million chickens died in a fire on an egg farm near Roggen, Colorado at Moark Hatcheries.

Image the horror, the terror the pain of these helpless animals trapped unable to escape.

500,000 Chickens Perish in Farm Fire

Both of the cases above and many others are shocking disasters which are often preventable. The first was claimed to be lack of communication about who was supposed to feed the birds, the second was a fire one of many that are experienced in factory farming in some cases by heating equipment malfunctions or placement too close to flammable material. However notwithstanding the truth of the matter concerning these tragedies the day-to-day suffering of these animals for the duration of their entire lives –  about two years for a hen who will be sent to slaughter when she is begins lay fewer eggs – is a tragedy itself . For the duration of these two years hens, having previously had their beaks painfully clipped, are cramped together in tiny cages with 8 or 9 others birds on wire floors stacked one on top of another, standing in their own feces, sometime with the decaying bodies of dead hens. They have never seen the light of day, the warmth of the sun. They have never felt a cool breeze ruffle their feathers, they have never walked on earth or took dust baths as is natural for chickens. Their entire life experience is a tiny cage like the one below where they will lay 200 eggs each year – normally a hen lays about forty to fifty eggs.

What of the male chicks ?

Shockingly male chicks are ground up alive, suffocated or gassed because they cannot lay eggs and they are not suitable for chicken-meat production.

“Along with defective and slow-hatching female chicks, they are trashed as soon as they hatch. Upon breaking out of their shells, instead of being sheltered by a mother’s wings, the newborns are ground up alive, electrocuted, or thrown into trashcans where they slowly suffocate on top of one another, peeping to death while a human foot stomps them down to make more room for more chicks.

Read more below about the cruelty of the egg industry

While the article above focuses on the US the same applies worldwide. For example the last six years has seen an increase of 26%  in intensive factory farming here in the UK including chickens along with pigs and cattle, in fact “US-style intensive factory farming of poultry, pigs and cattle is sweeping across the British countryside – raising concerns over animal cruelty”

Here is what happens to male chicks here in the UK

Please watch the video above. Consider if you consume eggs you are complicit in this appalling cruelty to thinking feeling creatures capable of experiencing pain and fear, capable of suffering every single day of their short miserable lives.

“I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer

You can help stop this horrific cruelty by changing your diet and going vegan

Helpful Links

From the vegan society advice recipes and information. Take the pledge.

Sign up for PETA’s vegan starter kit

Other Actions to take


Will you help free her

Generations of gentle hens have been locked in cruel & unnatural battery cages. Right now, we have a chance to get them out.

Further information and action to take such as dropping off leaflets

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke

Related Links


“The natural life span of a chicken is six or seven years.

The original ancestors of chickens produced as few as twelve to twenty eggs each year .

Domesticated chickens originated from red jungle fowl, forest dwelling birds of south east Asia. Modern chickens despite selective breeding retain many of the natural behaviours of their wild ancestors.

Chickens contrary to popular belief are intelligent, more so than your cat or dog, and are inquisitive creatures. Researchers have discovered that they are good at solving problems. Chickens it seems are more clever in some respects than small children when it comes to understanding that recently moved objects still exist, a concept that small children do not understand. In their natural environment chickens recognise one another, they form friendships and develop social hierarchies. Chickens enjoy dust baths, more about this later, and roost in trees. They love and care for their young. In the wild they make nests to tend their offspring. The maternal instinct is strong in the hen, she bonds with her chicks before they are born by turning her eggs five times each hour while clucking to the baby chicks inside, who reciprocate by chirping in return both to their mother and each other.”

Read more:      This article includes images which some people will find upsetting.

This treatment of sentient animals is evil, pure evil there can be no excuse, no justification. The motivation is profit of course, as is everything nowadays. Such barbarity has no place in any civilized society. If you eat eggs – and don’t forget in most biscuits, cakes, puddings and any baked product there are eggs – you are contributing to this cruelty and it will never end, if we do not make it end we are part of the problem and perpetuate this cruelty. For most of us the most effective way is for you to change your diet and go vegan, doing so not only helps the chickens and other animals but improves your health and the environment.

If you are still not convinced that changing to a plant-based diet to become vegan is the right thing to do for the sake of these gentle, helpless birds who are sentient beings like you or I, like your cat or dog, than look at the information below.

Scroll down for more information.

Warming! Graphic Images

I have kept this separate as the images and videos below are disturbing and may be traumatic for caring sensitive people who may have in any case  made the compassionate choice.













Warning some people may find the following graphics and videos disturbing


A dumpster behind a hatchery for laying hens is filled with dead and dying male chicks who are of no economic value to the
egg industry.

Photographs courtesy of Farm Animal sanctuary.  Farm Sanctuary | Watkins Glen, NY 2

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

More graphics of battery hens from Farm Sanctuary:

Dead and dying male chicks behind an egg hatchery


This video is deeply disturbing and I could not watch it all. How these people can work day after day torturing and killing these tiny helpless creatures is beyond my comprehension. It is profoundly depressing to see such lack of compassion.  It is disturbing in the extreme to know people like this exist and live among us.

This is shocking beyond your wildest imagination

Her job was to lay eggs for Australia’s biggest egg company. But you won’t believe where this hen lives… Help end this cruelty:

“Video provided by Sandra Mohr Productions. Animal video clips at are FREE—to help animals—because most of them aren’t. Most eggs come from chickens in battery cages. These hens will never touch the ground or have room to stretch their wings. They will live above piles of their own excrement for their entire lives.”

“Our grandchildren will ask us one day: Where were you during the Holocaust of the animals? What did you do against these horrifying crimes? We won’t be able to offer the same excuse for the second time, that we didn’t know.”

Dr. Helmut Kaplan


2 thoughts on “Battery Hens: If this Doesn’t Make You Go Vegan I don’t Know What Will

  1. You would have to be psychopathic not to gasp in horror at this. I couldn’t bear to even look at most of it. People need to know though, so thank you for your hard work in putting this together and getting it out there. Shared on Fb and Twitter

    • Thanks for sharing, I wholeheartedly agree with you, there has to be something seriously wrong if you are not shocked by this cruelty and of course for those who actually carry out this cruelty this is even more so.

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