New Jersey Ag News
Living in the lapse of luxury? (Editorial)
Are eggs better from happy chickens?
We may soon find out.
Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would transition egg production from the existing conventional cages used for egg-laying hens to “enriched cages.”
Enriched cages provide egg-laying hens nearly double the amount of space they currently have in conventional cages, plus provide perches, nest boxes, and scratch pads, which allow the hens to exhibit their natural behaviors.
That’s fine with the American consuming public, apparently.
A study was conducted by an independent research company which concluded that consumers favor the larger cages.
Interestingly, the study was commissioned by United Egg Producers which represents the majority of egg farmers in the United States and which supports the federal legislation.
And it’s probably a good move by the UEP since consumers support the transition to enriched cages for egg production by a margin of 12-to-1 of those who were polled.
Our problem with all of this is that the Humane Society of the United States may be thumping its chest and proclaiming a victory over the cruelties of commercial agriculture (and, as always, please make your checks payable to “HSUS.”)
American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said AFBF opposes the bill because it is based more on politics and science.
Notably, the measure also is expected to attract the interest of the newly created Congressional Chicken Caucus.
In any event, it’s apparent, purely from a business standpoint, that the United Egg Producers made a good decision.
It didn’t want to ruffle the feathers of the folks at the egg counter in the supermarket.
Chances are, however, that a dozen of those eggs from a happy chicken may or may not be better, but it surely will be a tad more expensive.
Luxury accommodations, as we all know, cost more.