Egg laying hens
A typical egg laying farm houses thousands of hens in huge windowless sheds. Between 4-5 hens are crowded into a single battery cage, which gives each bird less space than an A4 sheet of paper for her entire life. An egg-laying hen never has a chance to stretch her wings or move without trampling on other hens.
Chicken are forced to lay eggs constantly, depleting their bodies of calcium & other vital nutrients. This combined with lack of exercise, causes osteoporosis and broken bones. Their claws are not designed to stand on wire cages. Sometimes their claws grow around the wire, making it impossible for them to move even to reach out for food and water.
Accumulation of urine & faeces causes an overwhelming stench of ammonia. This leads to painful diseases of the eyes, skin and respiratory organs.
Artificial lighting is used to simulate extended daylight (up to 17 hours per day), playing with the natural cycle and forcing a hen to lay more eggs. Hens are often 'force molted' (denied food and water for period as long as 2 weeks) in order to shock hens bodies into laying more eggs.
Many birds die, and ones that survive are forced to live with their dead / dying cage mates.
Broiler-chicken facilities are overcrowded, with thousands of birds crammed into warehouse style sheds, giving chicken little space to move without bumping into each other. The accumulated waste of thousands of chicken, lead to toxic ammonia fumes causing skin, respiratory diseases and blindness.
A chicken's natural lifespan is between 7 to 10 years, but a modern day broiler chicken reaches slaughter weight at just 6-7 weeks of age. This abnormal growth is a result of a combination of selective / genetic breeding, the use of growth hormones & specifically designed feeds.
The organs and bones of the bird cannot keep up with the sudden spurt in growth and weight, causing heart, liver diseases and fractures. Some birds cannot even reach the food and water as their bones are too weak to support their weight and die of starvation and injuries.
Debeaking: To reduce losses from stressed birds attacking each other, approximately one third of the young chicks beak is cut off with a hot iron blade, typically on the day that they are born. Cutting through sensitive tissue, muscle and bone, debeaking causes extreme and chronic pain. Often chicks go into shock, while some chicks starve to death because they cannot peck on their food.
Male chick genocide: The male chick is a useless by-product for the egg industry. Unlike broiler chicken they do not put on weight fast enough to be useful for meat. Billions of these delicate babies are killed every year by being gassed, grounded or suffocated to death in trash cans or plastic bags.
When being taken for slaughter, workers grab multiple birds by their delicate legs and sling them into tiny crates for transport. Every year, tens of millions suffer broken wings and legs from the rough handling.
Chicken are given no food or water and are transported through all weather conditions. Chicken who have spent their entire lives in darkened sheds are then exposed to bright light, traffic noise and temperature extremes. This leads to increased stress and death due to heat stroke. Other causes of death include heart failure, trauma and hemorrhages.
In live chicken shops, chicken are crammed into rusted and poorly maintained wire cages. They spend hours or days in these cages, while they watch their companions being slaughtered in front of their eyes, before it is their turn to die. Chicken are roughly pulled out of their cages by their legs or wings and are slaughtered by having their throats slit.
In modern 'processing' units, birds are hung upside down by their legs on shackles in conveyor belts. Their heads are passed through an electrified water bath to stun them, prior to having their necks slit.
"They are then dropped dead and alive into tanks of scaling water. If the birds twist their necks up to avoid the painfully splashing electrified water or the cutting machine, they are most likely fully concious upon entering the scald tank, because they never bled out." - Karen Davis, Founder - UPC.