Originally published on Care2.
Kreider Farms is hell on earth for egg-laying chickens. The Humane Society of the United States released a mercifully short video summarizing its investigation of the conditions at Kreider.
According to HSUS, the investigation revealed:
- Birds were severely overcrowded in cages more cramped than the national average; each hen received only 54–58 square inches of space on which to spend her life.
- Injured and dead hens, including mummified bird carcasses, were found inside cages with living hens laying eggs for human consumption.
- Hens were left without water for days when a water source malfunctioned, causing many to die.
- Hens’ legs, wings, and heads were found trapped in cage wires and automated feeding machinery.
- A thick layer of dead flies on the barn floors caused a crunching sound when walking on it.
Nicholas D. Kristof reports in The New York Times that Kreider produces “4.5 million eggs each day for supermarkets like ShopRite” — it is no fly-by-night operation, and its policies condemn millions of chickens to lives of unrelenting suffering.
Kristof reports that Kreider crams so many birds into small cages that they can hardly move for their entire lives. According to Kristof, HSUS’s investigator reported that the stench and filth in the barns are so repulsive that workers spend as little time in them as possible. Sadly the birds don’t have the option of walking out the door.
Kristof quotes Ron Kreider, president of Kreider Farms, as saying, “The reality of food processing can be off-putting to those not familiar with animal agriculture.” Not exactly reassuring words for those who care how animals raised for food are treated.
Since there is no government regulation guaranteeing that any label (like "organic" or "cage-free") guarantees humane treatment for fowl, the best way to ensure that no birds were tortured in the production of your eggs is not to eat any.
Photo credit: Ethelred