Chickens are intensively reared in groups of 5,000 to 65,000 birds in large sheds, dimmed to keep the birds inactive and to lower costs. This causes birds stress and often blindness. Poor air and litter quality causes respiratory infections.
Factory "farms" are actually fast-paced, mechanized facilities. This stressful environment purposefully leaves no room for human beings to act on their innate compassion.
See our step-by-step infographic
"The Life of a Factory Farmed Chicken"
Genetic selection and antibiotics are used to induce rapid growth, which causes crippling skeletal and heart disorders. As a result, the birds’ fragile bones can't support their body weight. They are often injured before and during transport.
Credit: Knowles T, Kestin S, Haslam S, Brown S, Green L, Butterworth A, Pope S, Pfeiffer D, Nicol C. 6 February 2008
Chickens on modern farms can't engage in many basic behaviors like perching, dust-bathing, or establishing a social order.
The meat you see in grocery stores comes from immature chicks equivalent to 5 months old in human years. They don’t even have full feathers yet. They are living beings, yet we grant them none of life’s joys: a mother’s love, playing, or even seeing the sun.
Many birds live for years in the wild, some into ripe old age, even with predators and natural adversity. Wouldn't you trade a year’s life in nightmarish confinement for even a month to truly experience life? What broiler birds have is not life.
Breeders suffer nutritional deficiencies and constant hunger due to feed restriction to curb growth. Male breeders have a plastic rod inserted painfully into the nasal cavity to prevent them from accessing hens’ food.
To reduce aggression from stress, breeders have their toes and beaks cut off. Males have their combs and leg spurs painfully cut off. A better solution is to improve the living conditions.
Reducing consumption reduces suffering! It also happens to be great for your overall health and for the environment.
Let's go back to slower-growth breeds (see "A Case For Slower Growth" (PDF) from ASPCA for more).
Let's move birds into a richer environment where they can nest, perch, forage, and engage in other natural behaviors.
Let's stop use of antibiotics used to encourage growth. See our full report (PDF) for what we learned form the Maple Lodge Farms trial, plus more recommendations.