The secret suffering of caged chickens is revealed by our undercover investigator

It is difficult to expose the suffering of caged chickens. It takes a lot of planning and persuasiveness to gain access. We were shocked at what we saw once we got inside.

It is not possible to just walk into an industrial poultry farm.

You will need to identify which farming methods are used in which areas, determine which locations you want to concentrate on, and then be invited to film on the farms.

Our goal was to document all the suffering in these systems and use the information to create large-scale change through Change for Chickens.

It was a difficult, long and hard task that saw many things change quickly. One constant was the horrible suffering that the chickens endured at each farm we visited.

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Extreme suffering in caged-farming systems

We were able to visit cage farms in non-European countries. Each facility housed between 75,000 and 85,000 birds. Each cage contained 130 animals, ranging in age from 10 to 43 days.

We photographed birds with reddened, bare skin sores after they had sat on hard plastic flooring inside their cages. Some birds were forced to stand in the cramped space of their cage-mates’ rotting and swollen carcasses. Some dead chickens were hung from the outside of their cages. Even decaying bodies were found on the conveyor belt that collects manure as it falls through the hard gridded floor.

It is difficult to ignore the noise and fan activity, as well as the horrible smell from the chickens’ waste. One member of the team nearly vomited after witnessing the conditions. He said it was the worst animal suffering he had ever witnessed.

One location had a 100-metre-long warehouse, flanked on each side by three-storey-high barren cages. We were told around 60 birds died every day.

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Half the birds were already dead, so the cages at top were empty except for one single live bird. The birds living in the cages below waited for the others to go to slaughter.

We were amazed at how efficient the automated systems are – they take care of food, water, and ventilation but they are not clean or humane.

We visited three caged farms that were owned by two large poultry producers. One was trying to get into the EU consumer market.

We must act immediately

These cage systems aren’t allowed in the European Union (EU), but many countries, such as Turkey, Russia, and China, use them to raise chickens for meat. Even though they are not allowed in the EU companies like Big Dutchman continue to manufacture them and promote them in countries that allow them.

We are concerned that cages used in countries not prohibited will continue to grow as companies try to make more chickens cheaper and faster.

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We believe that these systems are not suitable for farming because of the suffering chickens go through in their cages.

Even if you don’t live in a country with cages, this problem is still a worldwide problem that we can address. This can be stopped.

McDonald’s has already informed us that they do not use chickens from caged systems.

McDonald’s, Subway, Pizza Hut and Domino’s all have the option to go cage-free.

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Stop the spread of caged chicken systems. Sign our petition and ask these food icons to stop selling caged chicken meat.