The Hard-Boiled Truth: Modern Egg Production in the United States


Behind the vast majority of every “incredible edible” egg sold in grocery stores today is a hen so intensively confined inside a wire battery cage, she can barely even move.

With just 67 square inches of space in which to live, she can’t even flap her wings, let alone build a nest, perch, dust bathe, or perform many other natural behaviors.


Numerous experts agree that battery cage confinement contributes to a number of welfare problems—and such concerns have prompted many European countries to ban this system of confinement altogether. And barren battery cages will be phased out of the entire European Union by 2012.

Battery cages continue, however, to dominate egg production in the U.S., and the egg industry has long attempted to ignore the allegations of cruelty to animals. But as a growing number of consumers discover the hard-boiled truth about modern egg production, the industry is scrambling to keep its reputation from cracking.