Our mission: To protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

Egg-laying Hens


Each year in B.C., more than two million hens lay 636 million eggs. That's approximately 275 eggs a year per hen! Ninety-five per cent of these birds live on conventional egg laying farms where they spend their entire lives in small, cramped cages, called battery cages.

But are battery cages necessary for egg production? Egg farmers like them because they allow a large number of hens to be kept in efficient and orderly conditions, allowing for high productivity and keeping the birds away from their feces. This results in low costs to the farmer and low prices for the consumer. But in the end, the welfare of the hens is sacrificed.

Learn how hens are raised in Canada, watch Inside the Henhouse:


See videos about egg-laying hens and the future of cage-free egg production:

Yes, show me!

Delve further into our detailed factsheets:

The Life of An Egg-Laying Hen

The Housing of Egg-Laying Hens

Cage-free eggs: What makes a healthy egg?

The Future of Confinement Housing for Egg-Laying Hens (battery cage phase-outs and bans around the world as of April 2012)

Fast Facts about Eggs and Hens

Cluck! (classroom unit for grades 4-7)

What to consider when raising urban (backyard) hens

Transport of Hens for Backyard Flocks

A comparison between new and existing farm animal care standards for egg-laying chickens in Canada and BC: A comparison between the Codes of Practice, BC Egg Marketing Board free-run and free-range certification, SPCA Certified standards and Certified Organic (PDF)

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Imagine Canada Accreditation

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