Over 664 million chickens are slaughtered each year in Australia, enduring a short, miserable life in confinement – typically crammed in dark sheds containing tens of thousands of chickens. They cannot express natural behaviour, such as spreading their wings and dust bathing.
Chickens are slaughtered between 6-8 weeks of age, at around 3kgs. Normally it would take a chicken 96 days to reach 2kgs. Now, with the use of selective breeding combined with artificial lighting, overcrowding and drug use to accelerate rapid growth, chickens can reach this weight in just 35 days.
Rapid growth results in skeletal and metabolic disorders which cause suffering, pain and death. 90 per cent of chickens have a detectable abnormal gait at the age they are slaughtered. Accelerated growth can also lead to sudden death syndrome through acute heart failure. This occurs in 1-4% of chickens. Of the half a billion farmed in Australia each year, that's up to 22,053,572 chickens who die of sudden death syndrome.
Most chickens in Queensland are subjected to CO2 stunning prior to being slaughtered. They are passed through giant gas chambers before having their throat slit.
To find out more, watch this short video.