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Cage eggs (CG)

There are 3.6 million egg-laying hens in New Zealand. Over 80 per cent of those are cage farmed in standard battery cages like those shown in this video, or in colony cages.

Most caged hens have had their beaks trimmed off with a laser as a chick. This is done because hens get frustrated when crammed into cages. They take this frustration out on their cage-mates by pecking them. This can turn into cannibalism. 

A single cage-egg building can contain up to 45,000 caged hens. 5 to 8 hens are kept in a single cage. The amount of space each hen has to move around in, is about the size of an iPad.

Caged hens are killed at 18 months old and are typically used for pet food. At that age, hens lay less and produce eggs that have thinner shells, which affects profitability. (Video credit: Tamara Kenneally).

Male chicks born into the egg industry have no use as they don't lay eggs and they are not used for meat production in New Zealand. The egg industry kills over three million day-old male chicks every year by gassing or instantaneous fragmentation (minced alive at a high speed). 

In 2012 the Government  announced that standard battery cages will have to be phased out of the egg industry by December 2022. Egg producers will have to switch to colony cages, barn or free-range farming.

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