Big Egg Deal Gives America's Crowded Chickens More Space to Roam Big Egg Deal Gives America's Crowded Chickens More Space to Roam Big Egg Deal Gives America's Crowded Chickens More Space to Roam Big Egg Deal Gives America's Crowded Chickens More Space to Roam
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Big Egg Deal Gives America's Crowded Chickens More Space to Roam Big Egg Deal Gives America's Crowded Chickens More Space to Roam

by Peter Smith

July 11, 2011

So what would it mean for the nation's 270 million laying hens? They'd each get a little more space to roam around—up to 144 square inches apiece. To put that in perspective, roughly 97 percent of America's eggs are produced by hens in battery cages, which have 67 square inches of space per bird. "Cage-free" hens, which produce 2 percent of U.S. eggs, live in open indoor barns and have 120 inches each. To see what those figures mean in actual size, check out the full version of the above 2010 graphic from The New York Times shows (PDF).

A little extra space might sound like a little change, but the proposal represents a rare and welcome sign: An agricultural industry willingly accepting federal limits on the farm.

Photo (cc) from Flickr user Animal Freedom. Illustration via The New York Times, using data from the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States.

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Big Egg Deal Gives America's Crowded Chickens More Space to Roam Big Egg Deal Gives America's Crowded Chickens More Space to Roam