Happier Hens Kept in Indoor Cages

Geo Beats

by Geo Beats

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A British scientist has done the research and says that hens living in enriched indoor cages are actually happier than free range ones.

A British scientist has done the research and says that hens living in enriched indoor cages are actually happier than free range ones.

As it was a British study, it involved British chickens. They have a bit of a unique set-up.

The EU outlawed ‘battery cages’, in which the chickens have little room and no comforts, in January 2012.

They have been replaced by ‘enriched cages’. Those are larger and each contains a perch and a scratching post.

According to the researchers, chickens in them enjoy a better standard of welfare.

It was found that the enriched caged birds suffered from fewer bone breaks, exhibited lower stress levels, and didn’t cause as much damage by pecking one another.

The professor who oversaw the study admits that chicken farms filled with cages still look bad, but said that the chickens themselves were better off.

Unfortunately, not all free-range farms can claim the same.

She added, "It would be nice to think the current free-range system gave the birds the best welfare, but the problem is that the management ... is so variable. Although you get some brilliant farms, you get some that are really not good."