This is the simplest thing you can do to help the hens that lay your eggs. Only buy cage-free eggs, or eggs that meet animal welfare certification standards such as Animal Welfare Approved and Certified Humane.
If you are looking for the system with the highest welfare potential, you should buy pasture raised. While it is more expensive, animals raised in this system will have access to the outdoors.
The cheapest eggs are usually from cage systems – where hens are confined in small cages and are never allowed outside. They are not able to run around or carry out 'natural behaviors' like laying eggs in a nest, flapping their wings, dust bathing, scratching and perching.
Remember egg ingredients
Remember that additional foods such as mayonnaise, cakes, cookies, pasta and quiches contain egg. Unless the ingredients say 'cage-free’ they are likely to be from caged hens.
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About egg laying hens
Laying hens are bred specifically for egg laying.
Welfare issues for egg laying hens
In the US, the majority of eggs are produced using battery cage systems.
Higher welfare alternatives for hens
Higher welfare alternatives include free-range, cage-free, and enriched battery cage production systems.
How can I help?
There are a number of ways that you can help egg-laying hens.