Hens Kept In Colony Pens Are No More Stressed Than Their Free-Range Counterparts
So says a report in the Daily Mail on the 15th July 2007. Researchers at the Sydney University measured the amounts of a hormone produced when hens are frightened. Their findings call into question the common belief that hens which are allowed to roam free are happier.
Similar amounts of the hormone were found in the eggs of both kinds of birds. Scientists believe this is because free-range hens have to deal with extra pressures such as extremes of temperature, more parasites and the threat of predators.
A spokesman for the British Egg Information Service welcomed the findings saying the welfare of hens was of paramount importance however they were kept.