Anti-‘Nose Bone’ Activists Flock to National Chicken Council Convention in Washington, DC

by Stuart McDonald

nose bones

Today, on Halloween, costumed chickens flocked to the National Chicken Council’s (NCC) annual convention in our nation’s capital to urge the industry to give terrifying “nose bones” the boot once and for all!  And the industry responded…

Compassion Over Killing’s (COK) Executive Director Erica Meier appealed to the NCC earlier this week, writing, “Given that the overwhelming majority of the poultry industry has now either eliminated the use of ‘nose bones’ or never engaged in using them…it seems fitting for the National Chicken Council to update and amend its Guidelines to prohibit this barbaric, outdated practice.”

During today’s demonstration, Tom Super, NCC Senior VP of Communications, approached our demonstrators and confirmed that NCC had received COK’s appeal. After stating  that almost no one in the industry still uses nose bones, Super said the NCC will consider this issue in their next review of industry welfare guidelines.

national chicken council

On the heels of COK’s investigation of several Tyson Foods broiler breeder farms, which offered the first hidden-camera look at the cruel practice of using “nose bones” – a dull plastic rod stabbed through the nostrils of young male breeder birds to restrict food intake – Tyson announced it was immediately ending the practice.

And following discussions with COK, more industry giants (Perdue, Wayne Farms, and House of Raeford) also committed to stop using “nose bones.”

In the chicken industry, birds are bred to grow so unnaturally large, so quickly that their legs often collapse under the weight of their own morbidly obese bodies. The hearts and lungs of these genetically manipulated “frankenbirds” aren’t strong enough to sustain this growth for much longer than the average slaughter age of 45 days. So the feed intake of male birds kept as “breeders” is restricted through the use of “nose bones” in order to keep these rapidly growing birds alive long enough to reproduce.  

national chicken council

This was once a common practice but it is set to fly the coop, as 17 of the top 20 poultry producers in the US have now confirmed that they do not use or are phasing out “nose bones,” thanks to your support. And more and more restaurant chains and retailers like Panera and Chipotle are listening to concerned consumers and beginning to address the reason “nose bones” were ever used in the first place–rapid growth.


“…given that the act of using “nose bones” was the basis of an animal cruelty conviction in the state of Virginia, it seems fitting for the National Chicken Council to update and amend its Guidelines to prohibit this barbaric, outdated practice.”
– Erica Meier, Compassion Over Killing Executive Director


Now it’s time for the voice of the chicken industry, the NCC, to catch up by issuing an official policy against these archaic devices in its “broiler breeder” welfare guidelines, followed by all the major US poultry producers.

national chicken council

Help spread the wingspan of today’s demonstration at the NCC’s convention by tweeting at the council to ban “nose bones” once and for all! Just click here or use our sample tweet below! 

SAMPLE TWEET: 17 of top 20 chicken companies say NO to terrifying “nose bones!” Please give “boning” the boot this #Halloween, @chickencouncil! http://bit.ly/nosebones via @TryVeg

national chicken council

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