Chicken
‘Broiler’ Chickens

While red meat consumption declines, more chickens are being eaten than ever before. Sadly, some people believe that white meat is somehow healthy. They are wrong. Chicken meat clots arteries, triggers cancers and is one of the biggest causes of food poisoning in the world. And chicken farming is outright cruel.

Chicks are kept in sheds called broiler houses where up to 50,000 birds are crammed with less than 600cm2 of space per bird (about the space of a computer screen). The floor is concrete and laid with sawdust, wood shavings or chopped straw but soon becomes covered with the animals' excrement. The filth may attract rats and flies bringing disease and because the birds are forced to spend their entire lives standing in their own droppings, they are in terrible pain from hock burns (burns to their feet and legs), breast blisters and ulcerated feet. (Think how sore a small mouth ulcer is and then imagine having ulcers all over your feet.) The windowless sheds are artificially lit for 23_ hours a day. This deters the chicks from sleeping and instead makes them eat more. A fat bird means more money. And money is used to excuse all sorts of cruel and sickening things that humans do to animals and even their own kind.

Broiler chickens are ready for slaughter at 1.8kg live weight in 42 days, half the time it once took. They go to death with the bodies of adult chickens and the blue eyes and high pitched 'cheep' of little chicks. The birds grow abnormally fast because they are fed growth promoters and are selectively bred to do so.

The result is that the bones of many break under their ballooning weight and their hearts are frequently unable to cope. The Agricultural and Food Research Council (which supports factory farming) state that up to four fifths of broiler chickens have broken bones, deformed feet and legs or other skeletal defects. According to the National Farmers Union, about 72 million birds die in broiler houses every year - before they even reach the slaughterhouse.

For further information, please see www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/chickens/broiler.htm

Viva! Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol, BS2 8QH, UK
T: 0117 944 1000 F: 0117 924 4646 E: info@viva.org.uk
www.viva.org.uk