In fact, the process of making and passing an egg requires so much energy and labor that in nature, wild hens lay only 10 to 15 eggs per year.1,2, The Red Jungle Fowl — the wild relatives from whom domestic layer hens are descended — lay one to two clutches of eggs annually, with 4 to 6 eggs per clutch on average.3. “Cage free” and “free range” eggs are better from a humane standpoint than battery caged eggs, but they’re not as much better as you might think. So if you don’t have a local source of eggs and know where your eggs are coming from, here is a short primer on egg carton lingo and what it means to the chicken. Humane Farm Animal Care Certifies Goat Cheese Producer, Food Labeled as Humane Growing in Popularity. Even the most rigorous humane labeling certification programs in the U.S., Certified Humane, American Humane Certified, and Animal Welfare Approved, permit the killing of male chicks at the hatcheries which supply their egg farms with laying hens.5. We need to encourage pastured egg and chicken production. Once a yolk is fully developed, it is released from the ovary into the oviduct, a long, convoluted tube made up of five different sections: the infundibulum or funnel; the magnum; the isthmus; the uterus or shell gland; and the vagina. Though the hens aren’t in cages, they get only a square foot or so of space each and are kept awake in artificial light to increase production. This article by Ashley Capps originally appeared at Free From Harm and is reprinted with the author’s permission. The ovum remains in the infundibulum for 15 to 18 minutes, and it is here where fertilization would occur if the hen mated with a rooster. The organic eggs from Costco brand Kirkland are Certified Humane: While not pasture raised, they’re cage- and antibiotic-free. Most eggs are not even sold under humane pretexts. Overproduction of eggs is responsible for numerous disorders in hens, including often fatal diseases of the reproductive tract; osteoporosis and accompanying bone fractures; and, in some cases, total skeletal paralysis, sometimes referred to as “caged layer fatigue.”, Osteoporosis and bone fragility from unnatural lay rates are also greatly exacerbated by lack of exercise: more than 95% of egg laying hens in the U.S. spend their entire lives confined in battery cages so small they cannot even spread their wings.5. And Hunnes isn't endorsing any of this egg white only stuff. Bottom line: The most humane eggs you'll eat are the ones from chickens allowed to roam and feed on their natural diets. "Â, While people were once told to avoid eating egg yolks due to the cholesterol, new research has shown that eating foods containing cholesterol, like eggs, do not lead to having higher cholesterol. However, eggs sold for human consumption are not fertilized (most egg-laying hens never even have a chance to mate. According to Certified Humane, labels like organic, natural and non-GMO can be misleading, as the USDA has no certifications on how much space or light an organically raised chicken needs. In chickens, however, the cycle of creating and passing eggs is arguably even more physically taxing, especially in modern layer hens who have been bred to produce unnaturally high rates of eggs. These conventionally-raised, factory-farmed eggs come from birds who are kept in wire battery cages stacked by the thousands on top of each other inside warehouses without fresh air or sunlight. Their bodies could never sustain the physical depletion of laying the hundreds of eggs that domestic chickens have been forced to produce through genetic manipulation. Retrieved 2/11/2014 from, 4. We removed over one pound of decomposed egg material from her oviduct (uterus).”, Jewel Johnson, who rescues chickens at Danzig’s Roost in Colorado, writes of the human-engineered overproduction of eggs in laying hens: “I’ve had two hens die on the operating table. Similarly, chickens raised on vegetarian feed may be deprived of actual grass, as chickens are not naturally vegetarian and actually thrive off eating bugs and worms, the Washington Post reported. Most eggs are not even sold under humane pretexts. Backyard chickens and free-range farm eggs are the most humane, but if you can't access these two types, Certified Humane cage-free eggs are your next best bet. Sweet Pea in her last days of life. Pastured chicken meat contains 21% less fat and 50% more Vitamin A than the USDA standard. The ovum, or yolk, stays in the magnum for 3 hours while the albumen, or “egg white,” is added. Just because one egg gets stuck and cannot be laid, it does not stop her body from making another egg the next day, and the next, and the next…”. But due to pressure from consumers, more humane growing methods are becoming more popular. Bottom line: The most humane eggs you'll eat are the ones from chickens allowed to roam and feed on their natural diets.


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