Study proves fast growing chickens suffer miserable lives
A new study commissioned by the RSPCA in partnership with World Animal Protection has found that chickens bred to grow too big too quickly struggle to perch or even walk properly, by the end of their short lives.
The study findings clearly show fast-growing chicken breeds suffer from terrible health issues and many will live their short lives in pain and distress.
The results of the study, which was independently carried out by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), showed that, compared with the slower growing breed, the fast-growing breeds:
Were up to twice as likely to die or be culled primarily due to ill health (up to 11%)
Were up to four times more likely to suffer from sores to their legs from resting, often for too long due to inactivity
Were up to 3.5 times more likely to suffer from moderate to severe lameness and require putting down
Were more likely to spend their time sitting (around 72% of the time) compared to slower-growing birds (51%)*
Spent 6.6 times less time perching (daily average up to 1.2%, compared with the slower growing breed which spent 11% of their time perching)*
Spent 1.5 times more time feeding*, due to the energy they need to grow at an accelerated rate
Were up to 7.8 times more likely to have white striping (fatty deposits) of the breast meat
Were up to 23 times more likely to suffer from a condition known as wooden breast (where muscle cells have died)
The life of a fast-growing meat chicken
People care about animal welfare issues
James MacColl, World Animal Protection UK head of campaigns said, "The study findings clearly show fast-growing chicken breeds suffer from terrible health issues and many will live their short lives in pain and distress.
People are increasingly aware of farm animal welfare issues and they expect food companies to take action to end unnecessary cruelty. Brands such as KFC, M&S and Waitrose have already committed to only use chicken breeds that grow at a more natural rate and we are calling on others to follow their lead."
Call on Nando’s to act for chickens
We have already had success with KFC which has promised to end the use of fast-growing breeds by 2026. The findings of this study clearly show why we’re right to be concerned about the suffering endured by fast growing chickens, which is why we’re asking Nando's to take action now. Please sign and share our petition demanding Nando’s commit to improve chicken welfare on the farms supplying their restaurants - www.worldanimalprotection.org.uk/cheeky-nandos
*at 37 days of age
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