The Better Chicken Commitment
The Better Chicken Commitment has encouraged big players to sign up and improve chicken welfare across the UK and Europe.
But, there are still a number of businesses who aren't convinced that intensively reared meat chickens suffer from growing fast.
The sad truth about meat chickens today
We commissioned a trial looking at fast-growing breeds compared to a slower-growing, higher welfare breed of chicken.
The results are conclusive - genetics of these fast-growing chickens fail to safeguard welfare to such an extent that many birds could be considered as having a life not worth living.
Watch our chicken trial documentary
Cost over care, what our chicken report shows
Mortality (including culls), lameness and hock burn were all significantly higher for the fast-growing breeds.
Wooden breast and white striping
The fast-growing chickens suffered significantly higher incidents of wooden breast and white striping.
These are diseases of the breast muscle which can cause pain, as some of the muscle fibres die while the chicken continues to grow.
The fast-growing breeds spent significantly more time sitting and eating, particularly towards the end of their life while the slower-growing breed remained active.
Unable to live like a chicken
The fast-growing breeds spent notably less time perching and had trouble doing so, despite trying to. This is likely because of their size.
Why chicken production needs to change
Slower growing over fast-growing
We found significant inefficiencies in standard meat chicken production. It's clear that fast-growing breeds suffer from poor health and welfare due to their genetics.
Legislation is needed to safeguard the welfare of chickens must be implemented.
If issues such as mortality, lameness and downgraded carcasses due to poor meat quality (wooden breast and white striping) were taken into account, it would have a considerable impact on the cost of cheap chicken.
The price of chicken is kept artificially low because these issues not being addressed adequately.
As well as being ethically questionable, the wastefulness of the industry brings into question just how environmentally sustainable standard production is.
Slower-growing higher welfare breeds should replace fast-growing breeds.
Chickens should be able to behave like chickens
Chickens aren't inanimate objects, they're sentient beings. It's far more important to ensure the way they're raised is to the highest standard as possible.
Thank you for taking action
We recently asked you to help us by tweeting your supermarkets in time for their AGM, to ensure chicken welfare is on their agenda.
We'll soon be sharing our next steps for chicken welfare. For news on how we did and how you can get involved with our progression, sign up to our campaigns newsletter.
Missed the action?
You can still help our campaign by sharing our documentary.