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The welfare of the egg-laying hen is directly linked to her ability to act out natural behaviors. A happy hen is a bird free to forage, take exercise, preen, dust-bathe, take refuge on a perch whenever she feels vulnerable and build a nest in which to lay her eggs.

If you are interested in protecting the welfare of hens and roosters, there are several steps you can take.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the terms used on egg labels.
  2. Support brands and stores who sell eggs that meet your expectations.
  3. Write your congressman about your concerns or dissatisfaction with the conditions of hens' and roosters' living quarters.
  4. Volunteer with organizations whose efforts aim to protect the welfare of hens and roosters.
  5. Reduce your consumption of eggs and choose vegetarian options.

Corporations and their "Egg Practices"

In 2005, Whole Foods Market, Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, Earth Fare and Jimbo's...Naturally implemented exclusively cage-free egg policies. 

Trader Joe's converted all of its brand eggs to cage-free. Food-service provider Bon Appétit is phasing out cage eggs for all of its 400 cafés, including major corporate clients such as Yahoo!, Oracle Corporation, Cisco Systems, Adidas, Best Buy, and Nordstrom. AOL and Google are switching to the exclusive use of cage-free eggs in their employee cafeterias.

Countries and their "Egg Practices"

Due to animal welfare concerns, countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Austria have banned battery cages. The entire European Union is phasing out conventional cages by 2012.

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