More than 8.5 billion chickens are slaughtered for meat production in the United States every year. Raised in industrial production systems, these animals experience crowded indoor confinement, unnatural lighting regimes, poor air quality, stressful handling and transportation, and inadequate stunning and slaughter procedures. Because they are selectively bred for rapid growth, broiler chickens are prone to a variety of severe skeletal and metabolic disorders that can cause suffering, pain, and even death. Broiler breeders, the parent birds of chickens raised for meat, are subjected to severe feed restriction, and males may undergo painful toe and beak amputations, performed without pain relief. Scientific research on the behavior and welfare of broiler chickens demonstrates that these are substantial and important issues. Rapid and immediate reform is needed to improve the welfare of chickens raised for meat.
The Humane Society of the United States, "The Welfare of Animals in the Chicken Industry" (2013). HSUS REPORTS. 12.