Chicken farming in Australia
Chickens farmed for their meat in Australia are called broiler chickens. A broiler chicken is born into a world of cruelty. The broiler industry started in Australia in the late 1950's. Since then chickens have been, and continue to be, rigorously and selectively bred to gain weight as fast as possible to ensure maximum profit. A broiler chicken gains weight up to 3 times faster than a normal chicken.
Broiler chicken's internal organs remain the same size as a normal chicken, causing the unnatural weight of their breasts to place excessive strain on their hearts, other organs, and legs as they continue to grow. Other painful side effects caused by their weight and faming conditions are
- breast blisters - painful ulcerations on the skin
- lameness caused by dislocation of the joints
- bone fractures
- hockburn - lesions on the legs and feet caused by wet litter and high ammonia levels
Around 2% of birds die in the sheds from illness, trauma and starvation.
In the last 50 years, genetic modifications have changed the amount of time it takes for a chicken to reach 1.6 kgs from 98 to 37 days.
Even if they escape slaughter and make it to sanctuary, they have an incredible short life span of between 6-18 months.
The birds that do go to slaughter are no older than chicks. While they weigh double what a normal chick would, they still have soft fluffy feathers and are peeping like baby chicks.
And chickens are not afforded the same protection from cruelty than other animals in the food industry. Loading and transportation is performed by harried workers and chickens sometimes fall from the truck.
At the slaughterhouse, they are shackled upside down from their legs on a conveyer belt whilst fully conscious. They are then stunned by an electrical water bath, however some lift their heads and so are not stunned prior to their throats being slit so they bleed out and die.
With so many delicious and healthful plant based alternatives now available, it's hard for us to understand how these babies are still suffering.