Eyes on Animals helped Demeter egg farmer Kees Sijbenga in Hooghalen (NL) supervise and assist in the upright catching of his “spent” laying hens. Most of the catchers did a very good job at keeping the birds upright and holding them gently; just a few were not following the instructions correctly, concluded both EonA and farmer Kees. This will be taken into account for next time.
Demeter egg producers in The Netherlands as a whole made the decision to switch to the upright catching method about 3 years ago. This modern and more ethical method of catching one (or maximum two) hens at a time and keeping them gently upright, rather than the old-fashioned standard method of grabbing three hens per hand by their legs and holding them upside down by their feet, shows much more respect and reciprocity to the hens. Gentle upright catching fits better into their Demeter philosophy of farming humanely with animals. In the end almost all “spent” laying hens, used for eggs, go to slaughter, but we are very pleased that Demeter egg farmers in The Netherlands were so enthusiastic about this change and made it happen! If you eat eggs, choose Demeter. They also have much smaller manageable flocks compared to the big egg companies. Now we have to convince Demeter Germany to make the switch too!