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Hen Welfare

Hens are social creatures with good memories and the ability to make complex decisions. For hens to have a good life, they need food, water and a safe living environment; and they also need the freedom to move and make choices about when and where to nest, stretch, flap their wings, perch and dust bathe.

Scroll down to learn more about issues affecting Hen Welfare in Australia, or click here for the Layer Hen FAQ.



In Australia, more than 11 million hens are still confined to battery cages. But the Standards and Guidelines that govern the way poultry are kept are currently under review, so we have a rare opportunity to change this.

A scientific report prepared by RSPCA Australia examined the welfare of hens in different housing systems and concluded that the problems affecting hens in cage systems are caused by the cages themselves. To improve the welfare of layer hens, we need to get them out of cages altogether.

More Australian consumers are choosing cage free, while positive advances have been made by various parts of the food and service industries.

However, an individual or company-by-company approach will not end the use of battery cages and the suffering of hens.  We need an industry-wide phase-out, backed by legislation, to end battery cages for good.

Australia’s hens have been confined to battery cages for more than half a century: Where’s the Freedom?

Take Action

Support legislation to #endthebatterycage

The Ugly Truth

Right now there are more than 11 million hens confined to battery cages in Australia. Read about the current situation for hens.

Read the Report

Read the report 'The Welfare of Layer Hens in Cage and Cage-Free Housing Systems' or read the executive summary for all the key findings