A number of colleges and universities, along with many businesses such as America Online, have reduced or eliminated their use of eggs from caged hens.
Stacked Two Stories High
Yale, Tufts, Dartmouth, Vassar, the University of Wisconsin, and 80 more schools have made the switch in response to a campaign by the Humane Society of the United States. Caged hens live in battery cages which can be stacked as tall as two stories high, with about six hens per cage.
This gives each hen a space about 3/4 the size of a sheet of notebook paper.
The industry argues that this is still a humane system, because conveyer belts remove manure twice a day, and fans keep the air fresh.
Cage-free hens require four to six times the space, making their eggs more expensive. Even so, sales of cage-free eggs are increasing by as much as 10 percent to 20 percent a year. Other specialty eggs, such as organic eggs or eggs high in omega-3 fatty acids, are also undergoing rapidly increasing sales.