I wrote "Hens eat a lot of food", but it was wrong. I thought you use a definite article in Danish to refer to hens in general. No, it works just like in English.
In English, you say "Hens can't fly", without an article. In Danish, it's "Høner flyver ikke" But in the Romance languages you use a definite article (strange when you think about it, but that's how it goes. Also, this way you have to rely on context to figure out if the speaker is referring to hens in general or a certain group):
- Italian : Le galline non volano.
- French : Les poules ne volent pas.
- Romanian : Găinile nu zboară.
- Spanish : Las gallinas no vuelan.
As expected, being a Germanic language, German doesn't use an article either :
- German : Hühner fliegen nicht.
"En masse" is more concrete; it's an amount that would generally be considered large.
"Meget" is more relative. These hens might eat a lot of food, but hens in general don't eat a lot of food compared to say, horses, so most people would stick with "meget".
I don't think anyone would particularly care if you used one or the other here.
In Croatia chicken is young hen, and someone would not fry hen, but would do hen soup. Also, if I can remeber good, somewhere south of London is a Hen shelter (similar like dog shelter) where they save chickens from farms.