USA- animal suffering on Home Chef’s chicken supply chain

Report: Animal Equality

On traditional farms, chickens live a life of pure misery.

They are bred to grow at an alarmingly unnatural rate, which causes leg deformities, organ failure, and heart attacks in these baby birds.
Each flock, which consists of tens of thousands of birds, are kept in dirty, windowless sheds. They are forced to live in their own waste with ammonia levels so concentrated that many suffer from painful chemical burns.

Chickens in a German fattening farm.

Then these birds are brought to slaughter, they are violently shackled upside down.
Their throats are then slit, often while they’re still conscious.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Over 200 brands in the United States have adopted the “Better Chicken Commitment”, a comprehensive set of welfare reforms that address the worst abuses suffered by chickens on today’s farms.
Even Home Chef’s competitors, including Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Sun Basket, have stepped up and put an end to the most horrific practices.

Pat Vihtelic has the power and responsibility to address the animal cruelty allowed in Home Chef’s chicken supply chain. Please join us in calling on him to eliminate the worst abuses for animals by publicly committing to higher chicken welfare.

Breed

Modern chickens are bred to grow so large, so quickly that their legs and organs cannot keep up. Heart attacks, organ failure, and crippling leg deformities are a common result. Many birds die from not being able to reach their food or water.

Housing

As standard industry practice, chickens are forced to live in a completely barren environment.
Because there is no set standard for cleaning the substrate on which they live, ammonia from the urine and feces covers the floor and causes burns on the chickens’ bellies and feet.

They are subjected to near-constant, low-intensity artificial lighting with short periods of continuous darkness and virtually no stimulating resources or ability to perform natural behaviors such as nesting, perching, and foraging.

Space

Most chickens spend their entire lives packed in sheds with tens of thousands of other birds. Such poor stocking density leads to numerous welfare issues, especially when coupled with low cleanliness standards.

When chickens are crammed so tightly together, mobility is decreased because birds have inadequate room to move and the litter becomes soiled very quickly.

Slaughter

The birds who survive the terrible conditions at the farm are shipped to the slaughterhouse where they endure a horrifying death.

Workers shackle the terrified birds upside down by their legs, and because the slaughter process moves so quickly, many birds aren’t properly stunned.
This means that they’re often conscious when their throats are slit and are scalded to death when they reach the scalding tanks.

https://animalequality.org/action/pat-vihtelic

And I mean…Millions of animals suffer and die every day so that humans can consume meat, milk and eggs.
Around one million chickens, 110,000 pigs and 80,000 cattle are slaughtered every day in Germany alone.

In this industrial housing system, the animals are forced to perform unsustainable

So that “broiler chickens” are “ready for slaughter” in around 33 days, have been bred particularly fast-growing fattening lines with a high percentage of breast meat.
These animals are so torture-bred that they are no longer viable at all.

Around 13 million chickens die before the end of the fattening period because the legs, heart and lungs cannot keep up with the extreme increase in meat. Many animals suffer from crippled legs.

The chickens are “housed” as chicks in huge fattening systems with 40,000 or more conspecifics.
Here they stay for the few weeks that they have to live.
The litter is not changed during the whole time.

The crowded tightness leads to aggression and behavioral disorders. The risk of illness is high.
In order for them to survive these housing conditions as much as possible, almost every broiler is treated with antibiotics during the short and cruel fattening period.

For this reason, their meat is often contaminated with multi-resistant germs.

Through breeding selection, the “chicken” today consists of around 40 percent breast meat.
The animal’s organism cannot cope with this: Towards the end of the fattening period, the animals crouch with inflamed joints and crippled legs, pain-plagued and sick in their faeces.

At the end of the fattening period, the chickens are packed in plastic boxes and driven to the slaughterhouse, where they are stunned with gas or in an electric water bath, killed with a throat cut, bled, cut up and processed further.

At least three to four percent losses are normal and factored into the business. This means that in Germany, well over 50,000 chickens often perish in agony in the fattening facilities on a single day.

This is the miserable life of fattening chickens, and not just in the US, not just on Home Chef’s chicken supply chain.
Chickens are the most slaughtered animals in the world.
For their meat and eggs, they are brutally fattened, brutally shredded, and even more brutally murdered.

That’s the truth.
Do not become an accomplice to this business, and leave chickens and all other animals and their products out of your daily “bread”.

My best regards to all, Venus

4 thoughts on “USA- animal suffering on Home Chef’s chicken supply chain”

  1. It is not possible to “properly stun” chickens, turkeys or any other birds in the slaughterhouses. The electrical water bath is not intended to “stun” chickens. It is not intended to render them unconscious. The purpose of birds being dragged face down through splashing electrified water prior to partial throat-cutting is twofold: To fit them to the slaughter process machinery and to facilitate feather removal after they are dead.

    Rather than rendering chickens, turkeys, ducks and other birds unconscious or pain-free, the electrified water paralyzes the muscles of the fully conscious birds. This practice and purpose is well-documented in poultry industry literature, and I cite ample documentation in my book PRISONED CHICKENS, POISONED EGGS: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry. These birds are mercilessly tortured by the electricity. Let us not misrepresent their agony or mistakenly urge that they be “stunned” by a process designed to inflict the opposite. They are NOT rendered unconscious or pain-free by the electrified “stun” water. — Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns. http://www.upc-online.org

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    1. Dear karen338
      Thank you for your very informative comment.
      Actually, the sentence … “Workers shackle the terrified birds upside down by their legs, and because the slaughter process moves so quickly, many birds aren’t properly stunned.
      This means that they’re often conscious when their throats are slit and are scalded to death when they reach the scalding tanks … “is not far from your description or explanation of “stun” on chickens, but it turns out to be as untrue according to your precise description.
      The text above my comment is from Animal Equality, whom I trust and value in their farm investigations.

      Nevertheless: we would be happy if you would enrich us here in the blog more often with precise details and information about the suffering of the chickens.

      Thank you and best regards
      Venus

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      1. Thank you, Venus. I appreciate your understanding. Through the years, I’ve seen misinformation about poultry industry practices that I try to correct as much as possible. Calling the mass torture-murder of farmed animals, by subjecting them to CO2, ventilation shutdown, and fire-fighting foam, “euthanasia,” is another sore spot. All of this and more is on our website at http://www.upc-online.org. See, e.g., http://www.upc-online.org/slaughter/.

        Karen Davis
        United Poultry Concerns

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  2. Pre-Slaughter Electrical Waterbath “Stunning” from Chapter 5, “The Death,” in Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry.

    “The complexity of multiple bird waterbath stunning is not conducive to maintaining good welfare. Effectiveness of the stun cannot be determined. The method, widely practiced because it is simple and cheap, cannot be controlled. You can’t control the amount of electrical current flowing through a bird. You can’t harmonize electrical resistance in broiler chickens. The waterbath has to be replaced.” – Dr. Mohan Raj, USDA Seminar, December 16, 2004

    The electrified cold-salted waterbath is the standard method used in the large commercial slaughter plants to immobilize birds prior to cutting their throats. The method was developed in the twentieth century to perform strictly commercial functions rooted in farming practices such as those described in a 1937 manual, Marketing Poultry Products, by Benjamin and Pierce, who wrote: “It is necessary that the brain be pierced with a knife so that the muscles of the feather follicles are paralyzed, allowing the feathers to come out easily (139).

    For the full discussion of poultry “stunning,” see the excerpt at the top of http://www.upc-online.org/slaughter/ which also includes, at the top, our booklet showing the poultry slaughter process in brief statements with photographs.

    Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns. http://www.upc-online.org

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