Hen at an Industrial Egg Farm. Taiwan, 2019.
Image above by Kelly Guerin. All other images by Jo-Anne McArthur.
“She caught my eye as I walked past the endless rows of cages at this commercial egg farm in Taiwan.
It was unclear how she had escaped but almost a certainty that it would not last for long. She explored the row with unsure steps and my heart ached as I watched her experiment with lifting and unfurling her wings, likely for the first time and possibly for the last time in her adult life. At the far end of the barn, an almost deafening flood of vocalizations from thousands of hens rolled in, keeping pace with an approaching worker. Not wanting to draw any attention to her; I knelt down, snapped a few photos, and left.”
– Kelly Guerin, We Animals filmmaker
On commercial egg farms, laying hens live short lives in cramped conditions. In cages, stress and lack of space cause them to lose feathers. Hens suffer injuries and death, with some birds forced to live with the bodies of their cage-mates underfoot. Once ‘spent’, at around one to two years old, they are transported to the slaughterhouse.