Overcrowded and unnatural
As farms become increasingly industrialized to fuel the growing global demand for chicken meat, chickens are bred to grow up to three times as fast as traditional breeds in a short space of time. This comes at an enormous cost to their welfare.
An industrial chicken shed can hold tens of thousands of birds. At the end of their short lives (most are killed at 5-6 weeks old), the birds are so densely packed that each animal can have less floor space than an 8.5"x11" piece of paper.
This extreme overcrowding makes it difficult for chickens to move or behave naturally. Chickens love to take dust baths, forage for food, and make friendly clicks to communicate with each other. In large barns the litter on the floor is only cleaned occasionally, so birds can’t use it to bathe or forage, and with the sounds of the ventilation fans and other chickens, it’s often so loud that they can’t hear each other to talk.
Sitting and lying in waste
Litter covering the floor of an industrial chicken farm is often poor quality, so chickens spend their lives sitting or lying in their own waste.
Contact with the dirty floor can lead to painful skin lesions on the animal’s feet, legs and breasts. Ammonia in the air can cause respiratory and eye problems.
Poor conditions like these can lead to an increase in lameness and skin disease.
Chickens are packed into barns by the thousands. They have no space to perform natural behaviors
Chickens raised for meat are bred to grow so quickly they have enormous chests and are too heavy to stand up and walk around
Social animals like chickens enjoy playing, but there’s little to no enrichment, like perches, to keep them occupied
7-day-old chick lying on its front on the floor of a caged farming system
Bare and bleak, with no natural light
Most industrial chicken sheds are bare except for lines of food and water dispensers.
Chickens are unable to perform natural behaviors, such as perching, foraging, exploring and dust-bathing. These activities would normally keep them active and healthy. Without them, they can suffer both physically and psychologically.
Most factory-grown chickens spend their lives in closed sheds without natural light. This means they move less, which can lead to leg problems and even lameness.
Time for change
There is a better way. Higher-welfare indoor systems are already in use. These systems give chickens more time to grow, more space, more light and more opportunity to behave like chickens.
We handed KFC the petition on World Food Day, October 16 2018. Sign up to our email list to find out how KFC responds and receive updates on our Change for Chickens campaign.
*Please note, the films and images on this page illustrate the conditions at one of many typical industrial indoor chicken farms, and does not reflect a supplier to any particular fast food outlet.