Cage-free, Pasture-raised, Free-range, and Organic Eggs? Sign up for the newsletter Eater. Some estimates from the egg industry suggest that as more producers move to cage-free, prices will rise by a couple of cents per egg.
But it's not clear consumers are really willing to pay more. A study of consumer values by researchers at Oklahoma State University also suggests that people don't necessarily prioritize animal welfare above considerations like safety, taste, and price:.
Some economists also wonder whether all the company pledges will ever be realized. Jayson Lusk , an agricultural economist at Oklahoma State University, points to what has happened after some food companies pledged to buy pork only from producers who didn't house pregnant female pigs in gestation crates — narrow stalls that have been denounced as inhumane. The bottom line: As the years go by, assuming egg farmers can actually make the transition, a greater and greater proportion of eggs sold in this country will be cage-free.
The egg carton will indicate if the eggs are from a farm that follows programs for the humane treatment of animals. View Results.
The cozy carton that keeps your eggs from breaking also carries some very useful information. While some of it is easy to Are organic eggs and brown eggs safe from Salmonella? Some starve their birds to force molting loss of feathers to manipulate the laying cycle. And virtually all commercial operations are supplied by hatcheries that kill male chicks shortly after hatching typically by grinding them alive , since they don't lay eggs and aren't bred to grow as large or as rapidly as chickens used in the meat industry.
There are few regulations on what egg-laying hens eat. Sauces, Condiments, Dressings. Stocks and Miscellaneous. Juices, Smoothies, Tonics. Boozy and Booze Free. They also allow farmers to keep an eye on hen welfare and air quality.
On the other hand, they stop hens from participating in natural behavior, such as dust bathing, walking, and foraging. They cannot nest or roost, and they tend not to display signs of comfort such as flapping their wings, stretching, shaking, or wagging their tails.
Hens that farmers keep in cages can be at risk of becoming trapped between wires or experiencing foot damage due to overgrown claws. Enriched, or furnished, cages have additional features, such as perches, nesting boxes, or scratching areas. These cages vary in size but can sometimes hold up to 60 birds. Having access to these additional features means that birds will be more able to engage in natural behavior than those that farmers house in conventional cages.
Cage-free hens can move freely both horizontally and vertically, but they may not have access to outdoor areas. Farmers feed them a natural diet, and they are able to exhibit the natural behaviors that caged hens cannot, such as nesting, roosting, and foraging.