About chickens farmed for meat

Outdoor broiler chicken sitting on grass

Chickens farmed for meat are called broiler chickens. Photo © CIWF/Jake Spain

Back in 1950, chicken was such a treat that most British people ate less than a kilo in a whole year. Now, we eat more than 2 kg per month (25kg in a year on average).

Live fast, die young

Chickens will naturally live for 6 or more years. Under intensive farming methods, a meat chicken will live less than six weeks before slaughter.

Free-range chickens will usually be slaughtered at 8 weeks and organic at around 12 weeks.

Intensive farming

Intensive production methods typically keep meat chickens in overcrowded conditions where many of their natural behaviours cannot be expressed. Their ability to exercise, forage for food, dust-bathe and perch is restricted. This causes chickens serious physical and psychological discomfort.

In the chicken shed

Undercover inside a typical, intensive shed in the UK.

There are a number of welfare issues for meat chickens.

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