Big eggs hurt chickens
S, M or L: what does the size of chicken eggs depend on?
Yes, there is egg size S, and there is even XL - that is, extra large. This classification is defined by weight: an S size egg weighs less than 53g, M size goes up to 63g, L goes up to 73, and anything above that is XL.
However, the egg size is hardly influenced by the chicken farmer. It only depends on two factors: the age and the breed of chicken. Size S eggs are almost always obtained from pullets. And the older a chicken gets, the bigger the eggs it will lay. There are also differences between different breeds of chicken. Much like the color of the egg is a matter of breed, the size of the egg also depends on the breed. The brown chickens lay particularly large eggs, while dwarf hens, as the name suggests, lay rather small eggs.
On the question of whether chickens feel pain when laying eggs - and greater pain with large eggs: It is fundamentally difficult to find out scientifically because pain is an internal sensation - and chickens can neither speak nor communicate pain through facial expression. So there is little evidence that laying eggs hurts them. One can say: Since the size depends on age and breed, i.e. on natural factors, there is no reason to assume a connection between egg size and pain.
If you want to consider animal welfare aspects when buying eggs, the size of the eggs is therefore irrelevant. One should rather pay attention to the keeping, i.e. buy free-range or organic eggs.
The text and audio of this post are licensed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Creative Commons license.
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