Chicken Out! is taking its campaign to the next level. Led by River Cottage Chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the Chicken Out! campaign will tell the 39 day life story of an intensively reared meat chicken.
From August 10th, people will be able to experience the life of a typical intensive chicken via a daily blog on chickenout.tv. Standard chickens are grown from newly hatched chick to oven-ready bird in an astonishing 39 days, that's just over 5 weeks. (An organic chicken, which grows at a natural pace, takes more than twice as long.)
These animals are bred to grow fast. As they grow, the living space for each bird shrinks to smaller than an A4 piece of paper near the end of their short lives. With around 17 birds packed into each square metre they have barely enough space to walk, preen themselves, stretch their wings or even turn around. Such cramped conditions and rapid growth cause severe welfare problems. Chronic lameness is common - up to one third of chickens have difficulty walking without pain. The stress on their hearts and lungs can cause heart failure. About 5% die or have to be culled prematurely. A typical intensive chicken shed can hold 40,000 birds.
Over 160,000 people have already pledged their support to Chicken Out! by joining our campaign for a free-range future and we have already achieved a great deal as a result. Many retailers, policy-makers and consumers now support the switch to free range but despite this, around 90% of chickens reared in the UK still live their short lives in dark, barren sheds.
Compassion in World Farming will also be taking to the streets of the UK to generate awareness and support for free range and higher welfare farming. The Chicken Out! tour will launch in Birmingham city centre on Monday 10th August 2009. The Chicken Out! team will then visit key towns and cities to persuade the UK to opt for higher welfare when buying chicken products or prepared meals.
The intensively farmed chicken blog launches on 10th August 2009 at chickenout.tv
Catch the Chicken Out! Tour at a city near you.. we look forward to seeing you there!
- Birmingham: Monday 10th August
- Liverpool: Friday 14th August
- Edinburgh: Saturday 15th August
- Plymouth: Friday 21st August
- Cardiff: Saturday 22nd August
- Manchester: Friday 28th August
- Leeds: Saturday 29th August
- Belfast: Saturday 5th September
- Cambridge: Friday 11th September
- London: Saturday 12th September
- Axminster: Thursday 17th September