PETA has obtained eyewitness video footage (available here) revealing miserable, bleeding, dead, and decomposing birds at suppliers for Happy Egg Co, one of the UK’s largest “free-range” egg brands.

PETA has confirmed to Your Herefordshire that footage in the video attached (0.35 – 0.43, 0-55 – 0.59 and 1:24 – 1:33 was recorded at a farm in Herefordshire.

The birds were packed by the thousands into filthy, dark sheds, some piled high with faeces. Although the company advertises lush, green, tree-filled pastures in which chickens can forage, the hens PETA filmed had only an open, barren dirt field, which chickens, being prey animals, find threatening – so most of the hens in the footage simply stayed in the crowded sheds or huddled near the entrance. Although Happy Egg Co’s website is filled with images of hens with intact beaks, PETA’s investigator found that the animals’ beaks were cut off, possibly to prevent the overcrowded, stressed birds from pecking each other’s feathers out. Some animals were virtually bald, their feathers presumably plucked out by other stressed, frustrated chickens. Some of the company’s so-called “happy hens” had died, and their corpses were left to rot among the living.

In response, PETA has submitted a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority asking it to hold Happy Egg Co accountable for misleading consumers about the company’s treatment of hens.

“Happy Egg Co is duping well-intentioned consumers into paying a premium for eggs produced by hens who they are told are ‘happy’, but the chickens we saw face much the same filth, misery, and death as those on any other egg factory farm,” says PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “PETA is urging everyone not to be duped – the only cruelty-free label is vegan.”

University of Winchester Veterinary Professor of Animal Welfare Andrew Knight commented, “The footage obtained by PETA shows chickens packed into industrial sheds with very little in the way of enrichment. Despite evidence that the chickens’ beaks have been trimmed, it appears that feather pecking – suggestive of stress and frustration – is still going on. It’s hard to imagine that these chickens are happy.”

Even so-called “free-range” or “organic” egg farms restrict chickens’ natural behaviour, like foraging, exploring, taking dust baths, and roosting. When the birds’ worn-out bodies can no longer produce enough eggs to be profitable, they’re sent to slaughter, often to be turned into “low-grade” meat because their flesh is so bruised and battered.

Cramming animals together on overcrowded, faeces-ridden factory farms also creates breeding grounds for deadly pathogens like the novel coronavirus and bird flu – an outbreak of which the UK is currently enduring. PETA further notes that diets heavy in cholesterol and saturated fat, both of which are found in eggs, can increase a person’s risk of falling victim to many of the UK’s top killers, including heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information as well as delicious egg-free baking recipes, please visit or follow the group on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.