Right now, the US market has about 300 million laying hens, and only about eight percent of them are cage-free, according to this story in Wired.
In 2014, the US as a whole produced nearly 100 billion eggs, totaling
$10.2 billion in revenue. This kind of mass production depends on cages.
With those tiny wire boxes, farmers can micromanage everything about a
bird’s life. They can even help automate egg collection by forcing the
bird to lay its eggs directly into a funnel that drops down into a
Today, eggs are widely available and cheap mostly because of caging systems.