Firsthand accounts from inside a poultry slaughterhouse
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Today I saw about 50 dead turkeys on the trucks, and about 80 live birds fell onto the floor. A worker tried to throw a turkey up to the double-sided dock from its rail side. The bird was about to hit the rail when another worker kneed the bird and then kicked it, knocking it back down to the floor. The worker threw the turkey a second time, but it hit the underside of the dock and dropped straight down to the cement floor for its third time that day. The bird lay in watery feces for about two hours before being picked up and hung on the line - the turkey could keep its head up and blink; it was otherwise motionless.
Many turkeys were covered in blood today, and about four had their wings torn such that I could see the main bone of the wing sticking out from their bodies. Another turkey had a gash in its underside about 8 inches long and opened up about 3 inches wide. Also, about three turkeys were smashed under the wheels of the tucks in the bay today.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I saw many turkeys with large gaps of missing feathers and large blood stains today.
One small turkey had its foot stuck under its cage wall. A worker grabbed the turkey's right leg and yanked hard several times until the bird came loose. As it did, the worker let go of it and it fell onto the concrete floor under the dock, blood seeping from its left foot and the bird lay motionless with its head up and legs spread out. The bird lay there for about an hour before it was dropped into the live pen and eventually hanged.
I saw a worker throw a turkey from the double-sided dock to the opposite dock, where it bounced slightly on the flooring and lay motionless with its head up before being hanged shortly thereafter.
Friday, January 12, 2007
There were about 100 turkeys and chickens dead upon arrival today - many missing feathers, with open wounds, and with large sores on their feet. I saw a chicken with an abscess on her left leg about the size of a tennis ball, and another chicken whose right leg was mashed to the point of bloody pulp, and hanged by both legs to go down the line.
I saw several workers sticking their fingers and entire hands into chickens to search for eggs. When they found one, they would usually squeeze the chickens' abdomens as they reached for the egg to pull it out, collecting them for later or throwing them at coworkers.
I also witnessed a worker tear the crest off a hanged hen to throw at a coworker.
Monday, January 15, 2007
I saw a turkey with a fleshy abscess about the size of a baseball on its chest today. There were about 80 dead turkeys on the trucks and numerous turkeys with lacerations on their bodies, broken wings, and cut or broken legs and feet.
While we were hanging turkeys from the live pen at one point today, a worker threw a turkey from the one-sided dock to mine, right in front of my feet. The bird hit the metal flooring and immediately began flapping its wings and trying to run.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I saw a turkey with a soft abscess on its chest larger than the size of a baseball, and several turkeys with broken wings. The broken wings I saw were snapped at the wings' tops so that I could see the bones sticking out. As usual, I saw dozens of turkeys with swollen knees, though today I saw three with knees that were completely limp, indicating they were either broken or dislocated.
Wednesday,January 17, 2007
There were about 100 turkeys dead on arrival at the plant today.
I saw a turkey on the one-sided dock lying on its back and convulsing violently for several minutes, ignored by a worker who stood just yards away. Another turkey was partially run over in the hanging bay. The turkey was unable to walk and was bleeding from its face.
I saw a coworker swing a turkey around themselves like it was a basketball and then ram the turkey into another worker. I also witnessed another worker swing a turkey around his legs like it was a basketball, hold the turkey between his legs to slap it twice with his right hand, then finally hang it. One of the turkey's legs was broken as a result of the rough handling.
I saw a turkey whose head was in between its cage bars and sticking through the top of the truck. A worker hooked the turkey's neck with his pole and ripped the turkeys head off by yanking with both arms. I later found the turkey's head on my dock, presumably thrown there.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
There were about 60 dead turkeys today, and about 30 injured from falling onto the bay floor, resulting in broken knees, evident by swelling, immobility of the joints by the turkey, and a free range of motion at the joints.
The line shut down today, due to a shackle getting stuck in the grinder room. The line was stopped for about 20 minutes, and every available shackle within reach of workers in the hanging bay had a turkey hanged on it. After a few minutes the turkeys were opening and closing their beaks slowly, as if gasping for breath.
I observed the kill room today. In about 20 seconds I saw about 10 turkeys thrashing violently for several seconds, and some continually as they left my view, after having their throats cut.
Friday, January 19, 2007
I saw two turkeys with large abscess on their chests. One was larger than a baseball, and the other was slightly smaller than a cantaloupe. I saw dozens of birds with bloody rear ends, one turkey with a bloody scab on its right hip about 10 inches in diameter, and several turkeys with broken, bloody wings. One such bird, whose right wing was broken and right side was covered in blood, was lying on the bay floor near a DOA (Dead On Arrival) bin. Thinking the bird was dead, a worker picked it up and slung it against the side of the DOA bin, missing its open top. A manager e then pointed out that the bird was still alive. The turkey was then hanged on the line - breathing but otherwise completely immobile.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Today, for about three minutes, I saw a worker use the turkeys on the line as punching bags. Using his right hand, he would punch their heads with quick jabs and then swing into their bodies with his right hand, sometimes turning his hips and shoulders for leverage. When he would swing, the turkeys would fly back on their shackles from the impact.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I saw one worker stand on a turkey's leg that was dangling over the two-foot high section of the double-sided dock, holding the turkey in the air. As two workers looked on, the first worker let go of the turkey as soon as a truck's wheels passed by, crushing the turkeys right wing when it fell. The turkey was left on the ground unattended.
Another turkey that was run over at the end of the day was left twitching and openly bleeding from several wounds.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Two turkeys were run over by trucks. By the end of the day their bodies were red mush.
Friday, January 26, 2007
I saw dozens of turkeys with broken knees and ankles, several with open bleeding wounds, one with a broken right wing with a bone sticking out of a bleeding opening in the birds' side, and a turkey with a thick bloody scab covering the entire right side of the turkey's torso.
Monday, January 29, 2007
I saw a worker throw a round-kick into a chicken, and knee another while they were on the line on the lowest end of the double-sided dock. Both strikes were forceful enough to send the birds swinging on their shackles.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I saw two turkeys with soft tumors on their chests larger than baseballs, and several turkeys with broken, freely moving knees or ankles.
I saw a worker try to pull a turkey whose leg was stuck under the rear wire wall of its cage free by pulling on the turkey with a pole latched to the turkeys' neck near its head. The head popped off, with the body flopping around afterward until a worker managed to pry it free.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
About 50 turkeys were dead on arrival, two live ones were run over by trucks, and I pulled about 30 out of cages with broken/dislocated knees and/or ankles. A variety of turkeys had open bleeding wounds, and one had a large fleshy tumor on its chest the size of a cantaloupe, that was hanging down about eight inches.
Several turkeys had their legs stuck under the cage wire walls - one had its left leg stuck past the knee. The leg was scraped and bleeding, and the turkey's belly had an open wound covering it in blood. A worker grabbed the turkey by its neck and pulled on it for about 14 seconds. He turned the turkey from left to right while pulling on its neck, and then he put one foot on a cage under the turkey and pulled on its neck several times as hard as he could. The turkey remained stuck.
Monday, February 5, 2007
Today I saw the kill room. I saw birds flapping their wings and flailing their bodies after about half a minute of having their throats' cut.
I saw a live hanger step on a turkey's neck after it fought him as he tried to hang it. As one of his feet stood on the turkey's neck, he held onto one leg and slapped the other with his hand until it kicked up for him to grab. He then hanged the turkey.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
I saw a live hanger step on a turkey's neck today when the bird fought him as he tried to hang it. He slammed his right foot down on the neck as he held the turkey's legs, and the bird began convulsing uncontrollably. He then threw the bird aside behind the line of shackles and kicked the bird in its head as it continued having spasm. A couple minutes later, the turkey stopped moving.
I saw several turkeys with bloody sores and cuts, including one with a large bloody sore about four inches across on the back left of her body. I also saw a five-pound turkey shackled on the line who was missing all of her feathers, with bloody scabs covering her body.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Today I witnessed over 20 turkeys with broken/dislocated knees and/or ankles, including one turkey with two swollen, broken knees dark with bruising. The legs moved like jelly. I saw several dozen turkeys with bleeding wounds on various parts of their bodies, and two turkeys with soft tumors on their chests about the size of cantaloupes.
Friday, February 9, 2007
I saw several turkeys hanged by one foot so that their ankle twisted and broke, tearing the skin open as well.
The line stopped for a few minutes twice today, and then broke and was stalled for about 25 minutes - turkeys hanging form every possible shackle on the line. After several minutes the turkeys began panting struggling, then gave up.