The Short & Miserable Life of a Farmed Chicken

No Protection, from Hatching to Slaughter

There are no federal laws whatsoever protecting chickens who are raised  for food — from the moment they hatch to the moment they are killed.

At just a fews old, baby birds are dumped by the thousands into massive sheds where they’ll spend their short lives standing, eating, and sleeping in their own waste. After about six weeks, they’re grabbed by their legs or wings and stuffed into cages, loaded onto transport trucks and shipped out to slaughter, enduring long drives without food, water, or protection from extreme weather.

Once at the slaughterhouse, the young birds are dumped onto conveyor belts and shackled upside down by their legs. Shockingly, birds are exempted from protections under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act — and research finds many chickens may still be conscious when their throats are cut.

With as many as 140 birds killed each minute in a single plant, mistakes are common and can often go unnoticed. This means that many birds are likely conscious when they’re dragged through tanks of scalding hot water.

These horrors are happening at the already dangerous current average line speed of killing 140 birds per minute. But some in the chicken industry, like this Amick Farms facility, are making matters worse by killing as many as 175 birds per minute. Alarmingly, the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA is actively granting waivers to allow even more slaughter plants to run at this reckless speed.

As COK’s new investigation reveals, faster lines could mean more suffering. 


“Frankenbirds”: Unnatural & Painful Rapid Growth

To the industry, speed equals money, and the animals are paying the price: As the chicken industry aims to increase its already fast slaughter lines, this same industry is also genetically manipulating birds to grow as fast (and as large) as possible.

To maximize profits, birds raised for meat are bred to grow unnaturally large, extremely fast. If a human baby grew at the same rate, she’d weigh 660 pounds at just two months of age.

COK investigative footage has exposed that many young chicks suffer from leg deformities, their underdeveloped legs crumpling under the weight of their own morbidly obese bodies.



An In-Depth Look Inside the Chicken Industry

After watching Compassion Over Killing’s new investigation [hyperlink to main page] of Amick Farms, learn more about the lives of all farmed chickens at our Our site offers a deep and evolving look inside the industry, progress in the right direction, and ways you can help birds today.





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