Battery hens

Battery hens

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This image is part of the feature Influenza Research

Credit: CURT MAAS/AGSTOCKUSA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Battery hens cooped up in cages. The practice of battery poultry farming involves rearing chickens intensively in an enclosed space to maximize the profits. The feed can be designed to improve egg quality, and the light cycles can be adjusted to simulate spring and so increase egg laying. It is thought that this has nearly tripled the rate of egg laying, but it has also reduced a hen's life expectancy. Photographed in the USA.

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