Why we need to make a change for chickens
Chickens have been living with us for over 5,000 years. They can be curious, busy creatures who love scratching, exploring, pecking and dust-bathing.
Our feathered friends don’t belong in barren, overcrowded sheds, deprived of natural light. They shouldn’t be forced to grow unnaturally large in short periods of time.
Studies show chickens are capable of experiencing empathy, pain and stress and form complex social groups when able to behave naturally.
32-day old broiler chickens in a commercial indoor system. An industrial chicken shed can hold tens of thousands of chickens. Most industrial chicken sheds are bare except for lines of food and water dispensers. Chickens in these conditions don’t get a chance to exhibit natural behaviours like perching, dust bathing and foraging for food.
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Did you know
- chickens can tell the difference between similar-looking people.
- chickens can estimate when a certain amount of time has passed.
- chickens have their own language with around 30 different calls, each with specific meanings
Time for change
Huge, barren and crowded industrial farms don’t allow chickens to behave naturally. We want these birds to have a life worth living: that means more time to grow, more space, more light and more opportunities to behave like a chicken.
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.
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- Suffering in numbers – the plight of chickens farmed for meat
- 10 facts you should know about factory-farmed chickens
- The brutal life of a meat chicken in Canada
- Exposing the secret suffering of chickens farmed for meat
Changing the world, together
The commitment by Tim Hortons and Burger King includes a move to chickens bred to have fewer health problems, more space for birds to move around, better lighting, improved litter quality and enrichments like perches so the chickens can express more of their natural behaviours.
Compass Group USA and Aramark, two leading food service management and support services companies, are working with suppliers to commit to healthier, slower-growing chickens.