The Price Of Eggs

I often watch people at the egg section at the supermarket, about 1 in 10 people stop and take their time to think about their egg choice. The other people, well, they automatically reach for the cheapest eggs and open the lid to check them. In that one selfish action, they are condemning 11 million hens in this country to an absolute life in hell. The life these chickens experience is a tiny cage. A tiny cage next to another tiny cage which has rows and rows of tiny cages on top of it and rows and rows of tiny cages below it. These cages are all filled with between 4-6 chickens. These chickens cannot move much at all. They spend their lives standing on wire. They spend their lives standing in the one spot in a cage. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine that that is your life? We do it to them just so we can eat their eggs.


Eggs have become such a staple food in our diet, that it is barely thought about by the average joe, but eggs come from hens and hens that are used and abused by humans in the most disgusting ways. A battery egg farm consists of shed apon shed filled with small cages layered on top of each other. Just one farm can trap up to 150,000 hens. Chickens are naturally happy animals, whose joys are directly connected to the earth. Chickens love to scratch and forage in the earth, they need to bathe in dirt to get clean, they sunbake in delight in the sun and hens make nests in private areas to lay their eggs. In a battery egg farm, they experience none of this. They are put into the cages and left there for 18 months until they no longer produce eggs and then they are ripped out of those cages. slaughtered and replaced with younger hens.

The image above depicts a situation which is all too common in battery egg farms. The chicken on the left is dead. The chicken on the right is still alive…barely. Along the rows and rows of aisles with the rows and rows of cages, there are many dead hens to be seen. They are dead in the cages being stood on by other hens. They are dead on the ground, this happens when they fall out of/ or escape their cage somehow and fall to their deaths. The chicken on the right of this imaage was rescued. I held her on my lap the whole way home and could barely feel her breath. She had been crushed under that chicken and had been without food and water for many days. I named her Phoenix in hope that she would rise from the ashes of her horrific past. After two weeks of getting better and being able to walk on grass and feel the sun on her back, Phoenix passed away. The batteries cages rob these birds of everything. They rob them of life.

This series , “The Price Of Eggs” isn’t just a look in to the cage system, it explores the free range egg industry, chicken hatcheries, barn laid systems and it explores the abattoirs where all egg laying hens are sent at the end of their lives. All hens are thrown in to small crates, driven sometimes hours to abattoirs and left in the crates overnight until they are cruelly slaughtered the next day. Hens suffer broken bones from workers roughly handling them. Many hens are sent in to the boiling watching after supposed throat slitting still alive. This industry is so cruel, it has to be seen to be believed.

 The following short film was made over six months by myself and a group of friends. It is an honest and confronting look at what happens to hens from the egg industry. All egg layers are slaughtered at 18 months old, regardless of whether they are from a cage farm, a barn laid farm or a free range farm. They ALL die like this. Please, if you eat eggs, please watch it – for them.

The footage was taken at Star Poultry in Victoria. Hens are seen boiling alive throughout the slaughter process. This is not a one off, this happens at poultry abattoirs everywhere. This footage was recently featured in a 7.30 Report story and was written about all over the world.



 The slideshow of images below is my photographic series titled, “The Price Of Eggs”. It includes images from cage, barn, free range farms, hatcheries and abattoirs. This series is a work in progress and I will ad to it for years to come.

Please don’t use my images without permission. All images are Copyright Tamara Kenneally

Kay Louise Palmer - April 5, 2016 - 6:13 am

Good photos of poor birds confined to a life of misery. It’s cruelty on a mass scale. Please join my fb page abolish battery hen farming worldwide. We are a small group who are dedicated in wanting to bring change in the industry.

Bold Vampire - August 5, 2015 - 11:54 am

Bold Vampire is a social networking site in memory of Scott Miller (CLICK MY NAME FOR MORE INFO)

Peta Mcguirk - July 25, 2015 - 12:51 am

I have my own chooks they just roam the backyard as they should they lay each day so i have always have fresh no more buying eggs

fabienne arlet - July 24, 2015 - 1:29 am

Thanks for this most enlightening article. I have been buying the most expensive, ‘organic” eggs which supposedly come from happy hens allowed to roam freely with fresh air, sunshine, and plenty of room, grass, dirt and companionship, with a healthy vegetarian diet. I honestly thought these were totally cruelty-free, and the hens died a natural end all on their own.

After reading your article, I have some haunting questions:

1) why aren’t the laying hens retired to a farm sanctuary after their 18-month laying cycle, to live out the rest of their lives in peace? Why are they killed instead?

2) Why are the male baby chicks killed at birth? Even if they raise prices, Why wouldn’t the Organic egg industry also bring the male chicks to an animal sanctuary where they can live out their lives in peace? Or better yet, let them live on the farm next to the rooster and their mother hen?

3) And “ground up alive” no less?

I have a feeling this may have to do with the breeders’ profit margins and their views of animals as commodities instead of sentient beings, with rights of their own.

Julie Denise Follows - July 23, 2015 - 12:14 pm

I always buy free range but preferably the happy hen ones

Val Prather - July 22, 2015 - 11:53 pm

I’m already vegan, but the more I look into this, the more I forget the propaganda behind egg sales-the cartoonish portrayal of how it works, and see the majestic beauty of this modern-day dinosaur we have failed. We teach parakeets to talk and give them baths in little bowls. We protect the eagle with laws.

Mel Sherie - February 6, 2015 - 1:33 am

That was great reading. We don’t need to mass produce anymore

Eva Ferret Mehlum - October 30, 2014 - 8:41 am

Only ONE solution will end all suffering for the animals in the meat, poltry industry! Total STOP in consumption of meat, poltry and dairy!


Sheila Donoghue - April 5, 2014 - 7:36 am

I never buy eggs. Don’t trust free range labels

bethwyn mell - November 23, 2013 - 11:39 pm

the only “good egg” is the one left with the chicken. Taking away a chicken’s egg forces it to lay another. Chickens ‘like’ to have a quorum to brood upon. Every egg uses calcium. Chickens will eat the shells to replenish that calcium. So if you are selling your small free range eggs to “break even” then you are still doing it by taking something not yours to take, still commodifying and ‘using’ an animal’s possessions. If you truly care about your chickens as independent and capable beings worthy of care and consideration you would not do it.
Free range is not a definition in law, with the connotations in our heads… merely defines as “hens kept in sheds with access to outside”. it does not define that they are actually allowed outside, the size of any outdoor area, the density of the flock (chickens happily recall 150 faces and generally have a close familial group of no more than 50 – yet it is not unusual for flocks of up to 10000 chickens), ability to stand on ground or pasture as opposed to wire, save them from de-beaking, no medical relief from illness including being egg-bound nor a severely reduced life span. if you really care…there is actually no ethical choice. the industry will merely try to smooth the reality for you so you will keep making that same choice. once i knew this, accepted it, researched it i knew i could not eat eggs ever again. my tastebuds do not deserve the misery of a kept bird.

Carole Chapple - July 13, 2013 - 9:40 am

Hi Tamara,
You are doing good work in highlighting this evil practice. I have six rescue girls in my back garden who freerange daily (not all day in the week as we work and we have foxes in the vicinity, so they go in the large secure run we’ve had built for them then). However they get a couple of hours in the morning and several in the evening till it gets dark..and all weekends and school holidays (I work in a school). I have helped out at hen rescues for the Fresh Start for Hens charity here in the UK and it is awful to see the state that they come out of the cages. We have banned the barren cages but our girls if not free range are still in the horrible “colony/enriched” cages and they come out in just as bad a state. We love our girls dearly and cry like babies when ever one leaves us. I hate, hate, HATE the egg industry with a passion and help to fundraise for the rescue charities. Why can’t politicians be put in like sized cages for a few weeks to see how they feel about it then. They’d soon ban them completely…and yes, free range does mean 50% of wee chicks are killed at birth so they are not guilt free.

Mark Scott - July 5, 2013 - 12:23 am

How does one double-like?

Angus Picker - June 27, 2013 - 10:59 pm

and the best eggs is free range don’t drop them or u will have a mess to clean up see u s all though I was going to say sramble

Philip Wollen - June 19, 2013 - 9:26 am

The so called “poultry industry” is a filthy, vile, disgusting trade. Cruel, Squalid, Ignoble. These sentient animals are descendents from the dinosaurs – and some morally bankrupt human beings have turned their lived into a miserable hell. . . . . There are NO reasons for this atrocity to exist. . . . Just excuses. . . . . . Philip Wollen.

Tamara Kenneally - June 14, 2013 - 11:04 pm

Thank you very much!

Christina Richardson - June 12, 2013 - 10:07 am

Hi Tamara,

Good for you to have the courage to take photographs of this tragedy which is pervasive throughout the world. Please keep up the good work and keep the awareness growing. Let us as humans have the foresight and the compassion to treat our fellow neighbors on this planet kindly and with respect. Thank you again.

AK Rowe - June 11, 2013 - 11:22 pm

SPCA approved eggs and meat

Keren Barcas - June 11, 2013 - 10:50 pm

So sad to see, I love my happy free ranging hens

Deb Shuman - June 11, 2013 - 10:47 pm

Even free range you have to read carefully. I buy from a farm called small flock who have their hands out on the grass. Yes they cost a lil more but eat less for crying out loud. Instead of 3 eggs for breakfast have two.

Fiona Miller - June 7, 2013 - 6:04 pm

I always buy freerange eggs but if they are cheap free range i dont buy them

Isabella Ireland - May 31, 2013 - 8:50 am

Thank you for your compassion and education. YOu are doing a wonderful and much needed work.

Myriam Ingels - May 31, 2013 - 7:26 am


Laura - May 2, 2013 - 2:22 am

God Bless you for shedding light on such inhumane treatment.

Kerrie Picker - April 29, 2013 - 11:06 pm

Hi Tamara, I am a small free range egg farmer. I am appalled to see people choosing the cheapest option when I would imagine 90 percent of the adult population are aware of battery farms and your photo’s are the real the representation of these farms. I do local markets with my eggs priced at 5.00 per dozen in NSW Australia. The comment that they are to expensive, which I have a hard time understanding I hear often. Whilst free range hens do pick and graze outside all day they still need to be fed as well. The cost of good quality feed to keep your hens healthy and extra’s like cartons are costly, I only break even but I do this as I love my girls and love to introduce free range eggs to everyone. I have converted lots of people with the taste and freshness you don’t get this from those eggs, stressed birds can’t lay good quality and tasting eggs. Sorry for the long comment I am passionate about the well being of animals and I love my happy hens.

John Martin Moore - April 29, 2013 - 12:24 am

I have a friend Dave who told me he cracks a couple of the battery hens eggs whenever he buys the organic free range ones, while whispering fook the bastards under his breath.

Tamara Kenneally - April 28, 2013 - 9:20 pm

Here is a link for you Nikolay
This is an Australian link, so if you are in another country, I’m afraid you’ll have to do your own research. Google and email is your friend, don’t be afraid to use them. Tricking people? Yes, I am sure that’s what I’m doing.

Lynda Kelly - April 28, 2013 - 7:14 pm

Hi Tamara, fantastic work and photo’s bringing home the truth. As a fellow photographer and passionate about the rights of animal and humans I am inspired to do more, thankyou Lynda x.

Nikolay Jordanov - April 28, 2013 - 1:44 pm

So what eggs can we buy if the Free Range ones are no different? You say “if you can’t afford the kindest eggs…” – I can, but which ones are they (in the supermarkets)? I hope you have an answer, otherwise you are just tricking people.

Keri Whitehead - April 28, 2013 - 6:03 am

I read the blog entry and feel incredibly sad. I do buy free range but agree that does not alleviate the myriad of issues concerning this industry. Poor creatures.

Robyn Mitchell - April 28, 2013 - 5:51 am

A great reminder about the effects of our choices as consumers…

Carla Bryan Beardshaw - April 28, 2013 - 3:55 am

extremely well written Tamara – brilliant work. I know that if most people knew where their food came from they would take more thought when purchasing – its a shame so many people don’t want to know.

Heather Burrough - April 27, 2013 - 2:15 am

Great sensitive images and message. Well done

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