Draw My Life: Hen’s Life in the Egg Industry


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Draw My Life: Hen’s Life in the Egg Industry


My name is Rita. I live on a “free-range” egg farm, and in a few minutes, I’ll be killed. When I hatched from my egg, it was very dark and loud. I wanted to find my mother, but she wasn’t there. I never even met her. Workers came and separated the males from the females. Later, I learned that the male chicks were sent to a machine that ground them up while they were still alive.

Life on the Farm

They took us to a new room, and a worker reached in and grabbed one of us. There was a horrible shriek, and then they came for more. Shriek after shriek, until they grabbed me. They forced my face into a machine that chopped the end of my beak off and burned the wound shut. The pain was unbearable. Then I was stuffed into a box, where I was trapped for days until we finally arrived at a farm.

Living Conditions

The smell made me sick. And it kept getting stronger and stronger. Then came the noise. It was louder and worse than anything I could imagine. Then I saw them: thousands and thousands of chicks kept in a warehouse. It was so overwhelming, I just wanted to cry. They dumped us out of the box. It was chaos.

Life in the Shed

I got knocked over by another chick. She explained that I was at an egg farm. She said when we grow old enough, they collect our eggs and sell them to supermarkets. The older we got, the bigger we got, which meant the less room we had. Suddenly, it seemed like we all began laying eggs. The day I laid my first egg was the day they moved us into our permanent shed.

Final Moments

Chickens were climbing all over each other. No room to move around. I needed to stretch my wings, but I couldn’t. And it somehow got even louder than it already was. None of us got much sleep. It was hard to find enough room to lie down. Older chickens said no one makes it past 2 years old before dying or being taken away. Two years is too young to die. Especially when we can live for over 10 years.


But our environment was making us grow weaker and weaker. It became harder to lay eggs. But we kept trying because we were afraid what they would do to us if we stopped. One day the shed was extra chaotic. I got stuck under a pile of chickens. They were scratching me, and it was hard to breathe. Then a worker grabbed me and threw me in a cart with other injured chickens. I heard him say that we were being gassed. My lungs burned as the gas entered my body. I am one of more than 300 million hens that suffer in the U.S. egg industry every year. Eggs are cruel. Please, don’t support this industry.


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