This is a baby female chicken having the end of her beak cut off with the hot knife on the debeaking machine. This is extremely painful.
More chickens are killed and eaten than any other animal. Anyone who has ever encountered chickens kept as companion animals knows that they are intelligent and inquisitive - and fiesty!
There are two types of commercial chickens - 'broilers' raised for meat and 'laying hens' who are used to produce eggs.
Broiler chickens are crammed into dark, dingy sheds, sometimes 100,000 at a time. They are bred to reach their slaughter-weight in just six weeks. They put on so much weight, so quickly that their still-developing legs often buckle under the strain. Access to food and water points then becomes even more difficult, as the birds are unable to force themselves through the crush. Weaker and sicker birds collapse and die from thirst and hunger.
The cramped conditions may also lead to abnormal aggressive behaviour, such as pecking at each other, which can turn to cannibalism. To try to stop this from happening, chicks have the ends of their beaks sliced off with a hot blade, which is extremely painful. Inside the sheds, the litter that lines the floor is not changed for the duration of the birds' lives. They are forced to stand and sleep in their own faeces and urine, which covers their feet, causing ulcers and sores and often burns away the feathers on their breasts. Because of the terrible conditions, bugs and germs run rife. Farmers put antibiotics in the food in an attempt to fight off disease and infection.
The birds are sent off to slaughter when only six weeks old, to be made into nuggests and other chicken meat products for peoples plates.
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