The life of a laying hen is short and full of work: after ten to twelve months of intensive egg laying for their producers, the moulding starts. The moulting is a hormonally conditioned rest period in which the laying apparatus of the animals regenerates itself and the plumage is renewed. The moulting takes two to three months, at least three weeks of which a laying break takes place. The hens thus no longer make the desired profit during this time and for this reason they are gassed (or otherwise killed) after this first laying period and replaced against young chickens.
Thousands of laying hens are killed in Switzerland every year after a few months of their lives. However, some of them are lucky enough to be able to live on: the Susy Utzinger Foundation for Animal Welfare has been able to reach an agreement with the owners of various farms that they will be able to take over and place animals for which they find a new, species-appropriate place. Such stables take place several times a year, in 2016 this was on 24 February and 11 July: 411 laying hens could be transferred to good new places by the SUST teams at these stables.