Look What the Meat Industry Has Done to Chickens

Many people have no idea that the chickens bred to lay eggs are completely different from those consumed for meat.

Egg-laying hens are bred not only to produce an unnaturally large quantity of eggs, but also to be small so that many can fit into one cage. By contrast, “meat chickens,” also known as “broilers,” are bred to grow so fast that their bones can’t even keep up, reaching market weight at just around 48 days!

So many big companies are making commitments to do away with eggs from caged hens. It’s time we started a conversation about the treatment of chickens who are bred and killed for meat.

A new piece in Fortune is doing just that, detailing the cruel manipulation of chickens’ bodies by the industry:

For years the poultry industry has intentionally bred its birds to get bigger faster on less feed. In 1925 the average broiler chicken weighed 2.5 pounds when it went to market at 112 days old. Today the average goes to market after just 48 days at 6.2 pounds—essentially we’ve created giant chickens.

Chickens bred to grow so large so quickly often become crippled under their own weight and suffer from cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks. The unfortunate birds used to breed these meat chickens are restricted to one-third of what they would naturally eat to prevent them from reaching their growth potential and dropping dead.

Multiple undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals at chicken farms throughout the country have documented not only birds crippled under their own weight, but other horrors, including workers violently punching, beating, and stabbing animals, and birds having their heads ripped off while they were still alive and conscious.

See for yourself:


Chickens account for more than 95 percent of the animals killed for food in the U.S. Nevertheless, not a single federal law, not even the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, protects these intelligent animals from abuse during their lives on factory farms.

Without legislation to protect these birds, it’s up to companies to implement impactful animal welfare standards, and up to consumers to do away with products that are the result of extreme animal suffering.

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