as a factory-farmed chicken,
we'd weigh 660 pounds
at two months old.
In 1925, it took 16 weeks for a chicken to reach 2.5 pounds. Today, these birds are genetically manipulated to grow to more than twice that size in just six weeks. Learn More.
Jo-Anne McArthur / Djurattsalliansen
“[B]roilers now grow so rapidly that the heart and lungs are not developed well enough to support the remainder of the body, resulting in congestive heart failure and tremendous death losses.”
Broiler birds spend their short lives in cramped, windowless sheds. Living, eating, and sleeping in their own waste, birds suffer from respiratory ailments, painful ammonia burns, and eye irritations.
“The domesticated chicken is something of a phenomenon… Studies over the past 20 years have revealed their finely honed sensory capacities, their ability to think, draw inferences, apply logic and plan ahead.”
– Christine Nicol, Professor of Animal Welfare
At the slaughterhouse, chickens are dumped onto conveyor belts and hung upside down in shackles by their legs. Nearly all birds are conscious when their throats are cut.
“Chickens are behaviorally sophisticated, discriminating among individuals, exhibiting Machiavellian-like social interactions, and learning socially in complex ways that are similar to humans.”
–Dr. Lori Marino, Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology
Consumer pressure is ruffling feathers in the chicken industry, resulting in some major changes for birds – from a recent welfare initiative announced by Perdue to chains like Chipotle and Starbucks implementing minimum standards for their suppliers.
This many chickens have been slaughtered in the US since you’ve been on this page.