So we have two scenarios. Scenario one involves caged hens. It goes something like this.
‘Welcome to the world, hen. You must now go to prison in this cage.’
I don’t know if that’s how it happens: remember, there are not necessarily any factual accuracies in this article. But essentially, the hen is put in prison. What’s more, it’s a women’s prison – because I believe she is female – and it’s also solitary confinement.
Where is the rooster who landed her in this naughty position, you may ask. Well, he’s gone to the pub, or the races, or skipped town, or whatever. He doesn’t really feature – except as another absentee husband.
So our woman hen is all caged up. And she’s in a big barn type thing (maybe) with lots of other caged up hens. And the chicken owner guy wants all their eggs. So he comes and takes them every day when she lays. But being in prison, she’s not that happy. She has no TV, no library, no friends, she just has her little cage – and small dreams. So when she lays eggs – which are loosely metaphorical of her dreams – they are not that great in quality, because they were not made in an expansive, happy chicken. They were made in a bored, lonely chicken.
These are the unhappy facts of scenario one. Scenario two is far more cheery.
There are a whole bunch of hens – again the roosters have probably gone. But these hens each have their own self-contained air-conditioned centrally heated units from which they are free to come and go.
There are plenty of activities for them to get involved in – arts, crafts, oratory, sports, extreme sports etc.
They are free to socialise, take dust baths, flap their flappy wings, watch TV, and scratch at the lovely dirt.
Each younger hen has a buddy system with older hens to unlock their inner potential.
The chicken owner is now more of a father figure, or a friendly uncle, and when he comes to take their eggs he finds that they are much bigger, have thicker shells, darker yokes and taste of pure happiness and freedom.
This, I believe, is the happy environment we support when we buy free range eggs. What are your thoughts?