The first things she saw when she was hatched from an egg
Were thousands of chicks her size
And the humans that grabbed her and took her to hell
They ignored every one of her cries

They tossed her into a crate full of bewildered chicks
She was crammed in the struggling flood
Then they grabbed her again and held her beak to a blade
They cut off the tip, shedding blood

She would feel that pain for most of her life
A dull ache from her severed beak
The humans whisked her away to the pullet house
She was thrown in a cage with a squeak

The meterlong cage was gloomy, rusted, and broken
She shared the cramped space with five others
Her mother and father were killed after she was born
Suffocated and gassed with her brothers

She would live in that cage for just over five months
Until she was old enough to lay
Then they would transfer her to a battery cage
And then slowly she'd waste away

Seven months later the humans inspected her first egg
It was late for her to lay at her age
They yanked her out roughly from her temporary home
And stuffed her into a battery cage

The battery cages were stacked high like wire towers
She could see about seven hens in each
Each hen had less space than a sheet of A4 paper
And their food was almost out of reach

Her cage was dirty with grime, poo, and rust
There wasn't enough space to budge
Producing her eggs was a painful procedure
Her food was a brown, smelly sludge

Days grew to weeks, and weeks grew to months
Her feathers were falling out
Her comb was nothing more than bumpy white dough
And her complexion was far from stout

She grew old and weak and was giving up
Life was worse than hell
She would never see sunlight and stand on real ground
Her existence was confined to a cell

When her cellmates died, more hens were shoved in
Bodies littered the floor
She stood on the dead to escape the hard wire
Her feet were scaly and sore

Two years passed since she had first hatched
Each day worse than the previous
Her body couldn't cope with the pressure of laying
But the humans were insistent and devious

When her egg laying stopped, the humans soon noticed
They yanked her from the cage by the legs
Her body was weak from a life of pain, cruelty, and neglect
And the humans required their eggs

She was strung up roughly on a guillotine machine
Her body would be used for dog food
The machine whirred to life as her gruesome death approached
No words could describe her mood

She struggled and flapped, feeling scared, weak, and sad
They'd left her there to her doom
And just as the blade met her scrawny neck, she thought
"What did I ever do to you?"


Lyrics submitted by Eamon

The Life of a Battery Hen song meanings
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