To satisfy the ever increasing demand for low-cost meat, chickens are being bred to grow to slaughter weight in less than six weeks. This is half the time it would have taken to rear chickens thirty years ago.
Every year, over 50 billion chickens are reared worldwide, mostly en masse in windowless, barren and overcrowded sheds. Since they have been bred to grow faster than nature intended, they can suffer enormously, both physically and with poor health.
What are we doing
Compassion worked with writer, broadcaster and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on the "Chicken Out!" campaign to encourage the promotion of free-range chicken and an end to intensive chicken farming. The campaign was a success. As a direct result a 2008/09 parliamentary motion calling for the UK Government to improve the welfare of chickens reached the number one position with an amazing 264 MP signatures, the highest number of MP signatures for a farm animal welfare Early Day Motion. This means over a third of all UK MPs have called for clear and honest labelling on chicken meat and urging the UK Government to improve the welfare standards for chickens.
What can I do?
- Always shop compassionately...
- Buy organic or free-range chicken
- If buying indoor chicken, buy higher welfare indoor chicken such as RSPCA Freedom Food
- Check the chicken ingredients in sandwiches, pies, curries etc.
- Campaign with us for improved welfare for all farmed animals.
- Learn more about the welfare of farmed chicken.
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Help us end animal cruelty
About chickens farmed for meat
Chickens farmed for meat are called broiler chickens.
Out of sight, out of mind
Our investigation into US chicken farming in the state of Georgia.
Buying chicken and poultry
Buy free-range. If you can’t afford that, the RSPCA Freedom Food Indoor standard gives birds a better quality of life than the Red Tractor scheme.