Knowledgebase > Layer hens

Layer hens

Last updated 14 October 2017

Egg-laying hens are highly social animals with complex cognitive abilities, who want to live just as much as we do.

  • Hens can distinguish between more than 100 faces of their own species. In barn-laid and free range egg farming systems, where they are placed with thousands of other birds, this ability is rendered useless.
  • They form complex social structures known as "pecking orders," and every hen knows her place on the social ladder. Again, barn-laid and free range egg farming systems restrict these social interactions and result in distress and confusion.
  • Hens have full-colour vision.
  • Hens love to sun-bathe and dust-bathe. Some free range systems allow for this, but most egg farming in Australia restricts this ability.
  • Hens experience rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which means they dream just like we do.
  • They have pain receptors that give them the ability to feel pain and distress.
  • Hens defend their young from predators and have more than 30 types of vocalizations to distinguish between threats.
  • Hens are just like human mothers who talk to their babies in the womb—a mother hen begins to teach calls to her chicks before they even hatch.

 

To be completed. Please come back later. 

Embed this article on your website Use the code below on your own website (PHP for server-side usage or Javascript for client-side usage) to always display the most recent version of this article.
Embed code coming soon

Photos (839) View all Upload

Videos (16) View all Upload

Documents (265) View all Upload

Campaign Materials (9) View all Upload