Factory farmers cut the beaks of egg-laying hens to reduce injuries caused by them pecking at each other in confinement. A blog about backyard chicken raising notes, The most common reason for pecking order violence is crowding. Each hen needs a minimum of 4 square feet of floor space inside and another 8 outside. Factory farmed hens get no real floor space at all; they’re in indoor cages that have wire bottoms, not proper floors. The wire mesh cuts into their feet, causing abscesses; the wire walls rub feathers off and abrade their skin.