Laying hens spend on average 18 months on the egg-farm before they are caught, loaded into transport crates and sent for slaughter. How are the hens, kept by the thousands, actually caught ? By “ chicken-catchers” who grab them by the leg, hold them upside down, 3-4 birds per hand and then stuff them into the small openings of the transport crates. The job is tough, the pay minimal and the focus is always on speed. As a result, thousands of spent laying hens arrive at the slaughterhouse with serious injuries. Additionally, their stress hormones are very high during catching, as the whole process can be traumatic. That is why, 5 years ago, Eyes on Animals started giving training courses to chicken-catchers on how to more humanely catch and load hens – called the upright EonA method. On top of this, EonA successfully convinced more and more Dutch egg companies to make the switch to this more humane catching method.
We see chicken-catching as a serious profession, with catchers needing to be trained, properly paid and the focus not being on speed but on humane handling. Scientists, economists and even egg producers see the advantages of this change and more and more are supporting it. Find out more about this by watching this episode of Kassa, broadcasted on April 3, 2021.