Commercial agriculture is an essential infrastructure, providing billions of people with daily sustenance. In this regard, poultry
production is no different. But so-called chicken factory farms have a long history of abuse, violations, and questionable policies.
Top 10 Reasons Why I HATE Factory Farms
I am literally disgusted and sad at the same time when I think about the alarming state of the poultry industry. This is exactly why more and more families are opting to source chicken products from smaller, healthier farmers. According to the World Watch Institute, 74% of the world’s poultry meat and 68% of eggs are produced intensively, i.e., produced with the
chickens completely confined to tiny cages. Allow me to break it down for you.
- At just a day old, hens are debeaked to prevent pecking. Not only is this horrifying, but scientific studies have shown that beak trimming is likely to cause both acute and chronic pain for the birds.
- When hens naturally reach the age where they no longer produce eggs, some farms attempt to restart the chickens’ ability to lay.
- Factory farms starve the birds for up to two weeks, forcing them to lose their feathers and a third of their weight. This painful process is called Force-Moulting. Many commercially farmed chickens are put through this torture multiple times. In 2003, more than 75% of all flocks were molted in the US.
- Since the 1950s, factory farms have used antibiotics to increase production. As a result, a quarter of commercial chickens are resistant to five or more antibiotic medications.
- Due to the use of antibiotics and the disgusting condition of industrial farms, disease is a major concern with commercially available chicken.
- Studies have shown that up to 99% of supermarket chicken meat tests positive for E. coli. In 2012, nearly half of all retail chicken was found to include fecal matter.
- Because factory farms allow chickens to be saturated in their own waste, most commercial egg producers are forced to wash the eggs before packaging. This removes the protective cuticle, leaving the egg more vulnerable to disease.
- If insufficient refrigeration occurs during any extended length of time during the packaging, transport, or display of store-bought eggs, the infection of salmonella becomes almost inevitable.
- The United Nations reports that factory farms provide ideal conditions for the Avian Flu to spread and mutate into a more dangerous form.
- Studies have shown that small-scale, backyard chicken keeping reduces these potential disease risks.
Access to your own urban poultry is the most reliable way to know how healthy your family’s chicken products are. And by managing your own flock, you can help to reduce the social reliance on unnecessary cruelty found in commercial factory farms.
I am so passionate about this topic that I’ve put together a free (YES FREE!) guide to how to raise backyard chickens yourself! You can download it here.