Chickens are highly social birds.
They live together in a flock and within a distinct hierarchy, commonly referred to as a pecking order.
In the wild, chickens will spend much of their time scratching the ground in their search for insects and seeds. When a cockerel finds food, he often calls the rest of the flock to come and eat.
He does this by clucking in a high pitch and picking up and dropping the food.
Mother hens also exhibit this behaviour in summoning their chicks. Wild chickens cover a lot of ground during the day. To avoid potential predators, they use trees and vegetation to maintain a low-visibility profile as they go about their daily business.
The vast majority of the 50 billion chickens reared each year for their eggs and for their flesh never see the light of day. Their lives could not be further removed from that of their wild cousins.
There are approx. 3 million laying hens in Ireland.
About 1.9 million of these (54%) are caged.
Egg producers and retailers
are required to label their egg packaging which is displayed on the inside of all egg cartons.
How a hen has lived and laid her eggs must be stamped:
0 - organic
1 - free range
2 - barn-raised
3 - caged hens
An estimated 50 billion chickens are slaughtered for food every year – a figure that excludes male chicks and unproductive hens killed in egg production.
136,986,300 every day
5,707,760 every hour
95,130 every minute
1,585 every second
Every single one of these 50 billion birds is a sentient being, with its own unique DNA and its own unique personality.