Another Egg Farm is Under Fire for Horrifying Cruelty to Hens

Another disturbing undercover investigation is shedding yet more light on some of the horrifying abuses behind the egg industry.

The investigation, which was just released by Mercy for Animals (MFA), was conducted at Shady Brae Farms in Marietta, Pennsylvania, which is certified by United Egg Producers (UEP).

The footage obtained shows a number of serious problems that should make people question their interest in eating eggs. Issues ranged from hens being left to suffer from illnesses and injuries without any intervention, to others being left trapped by their cages and unable to move, or reach food or water, while getting trampled by their cage mates.

Dead bodies were also left to rot with hens who were still laying eggs that would later be packaged up for people to eat.

According to MFA, most of the trouble at this farm is related to the use of battery cages, or cages that are so small there is barely enough room for hens to even move at all. While there’s been a lot of progress towards ending the use of these cages with major retailers and restaurants pledging to phase them out and two states banning them, there’s still a way to go in the effort to get rid of them for good.

The farm released a statement at first blaming the investigator, saying he was negligent, but later revised it, removing the reference. It also had poultry experts come in for an audit, that unfortunately concluded the farm “met or exceeded all animal-welfare standards.”

Now MFA is calling on UEP to make cage-free a requirement for all of the producers it certifies.

“From the day they hatch until the day they are violently killed, egg-laying hens suffer lives filled with misery and deprivation,” said MFA’s president, Nathan Runkle. “The use of battery cages is perhaps the cruelest form of institutionalized animal abuse and something no socially responsible company should support. It’s time for United Egg Producers to take a stand against caged cruelty and implement a cage-free mandate for all its certified egg producers.”

Still, as MFA and others point out, cage-free egg, or free-range, production still doesn’t come without a cruel cost. Hens are still subjected to mutilating procedures and will still be killed at a fraction of their normal lifespan after their bodies are spent from over production, while chicks who are unfortunate enough to be born male are also still routinely killed because they have no value.

For more info on the investigation, visit and to find a multitude of animal-friendly recipes and inspiration for choosing them.

This is Who Laid Your Free Range Eggs
9 Vegan Egg Replacements for Baking

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Marcia Geiger
Marcia Geiger2 years ago

I agree,,close them down. I will check out the alternative

federico bortoletto


Veronica Danie
.2 years ago

Thank You!

Dianne D.
Dianne D2 years ago

close them down!!!. I found a great egg substitute for baking from Bob's Red Mill - egg substitute. I no longer will buy eggs to and support animal cruelty.

Mona E.
Mona E2 years ago

Owners of such torture facilities should be submitted to exactly the same conditions they force the animals to live in. Cram them into cages for a few weeks. Bet they'd come out quite changed.

Maggie A.
Maggie D2 years ago

:-( :-(

Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

No excuse for abuse.

Shirley Plowman
Shirley Plowman2 years ago

Truly, my soul bleeds for these sweet, small, humble and defensive creatures. They live in HELL for all their lives till brutally slaughtered. Stop this planet, I want to get off.

Shelley Parsons
Shelley Parsons2 years ago

Bill Arthur - I'm not if sure you understand what is considered ''free-range'' these days. There are no chickens running around outside where they are becoming prey to coyotes, wolves, etc. Free-range now means the chickens live in a huge barn with thousands of them packed in. They're fed the same typical chemicals to make them grow larger, faster, and it's a miserable life for them. I've heard many die from starvation when they grow so big they have trouble walking to get to food, then they can be trampled by all the others. On the other hand, there are battery cages, where they put up to 6 young chicks in a VERY small cage and wait for them to grow up and start laying eggs. I've read that they may end up with about the size of a sheet of paper each to live on, with their feet getting stuck in the wire, and possibly starving as well. I'm pretty sure there would ultimately be a lot of pecking when you can't get away from your cellmates. Either way is horribly wrong and inhumane.