The Life of a Chicken

Farm animals are abused more than any other creature in the world. BILLIONS of animals are slaughtered every year for food production. The most common practice for killing these animals is factory farms. Factory farms prioritize profit to the detriment of the animals and the environment. Factory farms aim to produce the most dairy, meat, and eggs in as little time as possible. This puts little to no emphasis on the animals themselves. They live in the harshest conditions for their very short life, before being massacred.

Chickens in particular have it the worst. Every year, about nine billion chickens are killed for their meat. Factory farms usually house at least 20,000 chickens, in poorly ventilated sheds, creating high ammonia levels, which irritates the chickens eyes, throat, and skin. Because they are cramped together, they get little to no exercise. This, along with being excessively overfed, creates bone, joint, and organ issues. Shed lights are kept on at all times, to limit sleep and keep the chickens eating and growing, putting more stress on the animals. A healthy chicken can live up to 10 years. On average, factory farm chickens live less than 50 days! Federal animal protection laws exclude birds, so they are most in need of our help. Our goal is to combat the atrocious effects of factory farming through refuge, compassion, and outreach. We will provide all of our animals with protection, respect, trust, and peace. You can find how we plan to achieve this on our Programs page.

Factory farming isn’t the only way in which farm animals experience human exploitation. While the conditions may not be as drastic, like factory farmed animals, backyard chickens are also “products” of agribusiness. Any use of animal’s bodies or byproducts for human consumption creates an exploitative relationship between animal and human. Backyard chickens are frequently cramped in coops that are too small or runs that do not offer mental enrichment. Their living spaces may not get cleaned often enough, and many times they are found living in their own feces. Dirty living quarters can lead to sickness, diseases, or death. In extreme temperatures, they can overheat or get frostbite. Even in the best of conditions and with the best intentions, the “backyard chicken” is still expected to deliver a product for human use, creating an inherently exploitative relationship. One of the most important things we can do as a sanctuary is to help bridge the disconnect between animal and human.


To learn more, please check out these resources:
Farm Sanctuary

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