Surprise finding on battery hens
By LOIS WATSON - Sunday Star Times Sunday, 21 September 2008
Controversial new government research is tipped to reveal that caged hens are generally healthier than their free-range cousins.
The research by government agency AsureQuality comes at a time of heightened consumer awareness about the poultry industry and growing demand for free- range eggs, which sell for almost double the price of battery eggs.
AsureQuality has compared the condition of layer hens on dozens of egg-producing farms across the country.
The survey results are not due to be released until November, but industry sources told the Sunday Star-Times that early findings show that battery-farmed birds are generally healthier because the controlled conditions prevent the spread of disease. This was despite both groups receiving the same level of care. Read More
It only makes sense that putting animals in an environmentally controlled environment would promote better health. Being outside where they can have contact with other animals that may be carrying diseases or where they are vulnerable to predators is going to have negative health consequences.