Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak Highlights Horrific Conditions on Chicken Farms

Friday, October 11, 2013 - 11:15am
Several chickens sitting in a cramped space

Here’s one more example of how human health and animal welfare are inseparable: On October 7, the USDA announced that 278 people across 18 states have contracted salmonella from eating chicken from a certain West Coast poultry processor. Reports indicate that about 42% of the people infected have been hospitalized—about double the normal rate of hospitalization for Salmonella infections—because this strain of salmonella is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics.

In a recent U.S. News & World Report story, Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, explained how this life-threatening outbreak is linked to the common industry practice of feeding chickens low doses of antibiotics to compensate for the sickening conditions on factory farms:

"It's not an accident that this particular strain is resistant," he said. "I suspect it's resistant because of the overuse of antibiotics among farm animals."
Chicken live in squalor, Siegel said: "Ninety-five percent of chickens are grown in such horrific conditions that they're standing in poop and they end up infected with salmonella. If one chicken gets it, they all get it."

On top of poor living conditions on farms, most modern chickens are bred to grow so fat, so fast, that many collapse under their own weight and spend much of their lives lying in their own waste, with open sores and wounds.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Chickens deserve better, and so do we. The ASPCA is urging the chicken industry to switch to slower-growing breeds raised in better conditions. Learn more and take action at

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You have to laugh at those ads on TV about how healthy and happy our company's chickens are. Thank you for providing I did not know about this organization. I have signed up. Farm animal cruelty is sickening and I am learning more and more about it and taking a stand.


If I could get chicken at my grocery store from a free ranging farm and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg, I'd buy it. Much better and safer.


I certainly feel very sorry for all those chickens & the other ones that live in those factories that didn't catch this. Couldn't this help people to change their way of eating all animals. Check out what all these factories look like & maybe that would change the way that you eat. They're all disgusting.


The assumptions made on this website are just not true. You should actually visit a real poultry producer to see how humanely the chickens are treated before painting the whole industry with the same brush. "Free Range" chickens are actually more susceptible to disease because they are not in a controlled environment. Believe it or not livestock producers are not evil and have a very strong interest in raising their animals humanely. You must have found one horrible chicken producer to take this picture and expect everyone to believe they are all the same. ITS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE!!

Andrea Gomez

Larry what kind of farms can we visit to witness this humane conditions you apparently have witnessed? Please tell us names so we can be better informed.



Not so, Larry. When I was much younger, I managed a "chicken Ranch" of 8000 chickens. The conditions were hideous, the picture does not show the horrible way they had to live, the poor feed the dirty water, the feces that built up from the ground until it filled the tiny slanted wire cages. There was one fan for all 8000 in S.California, many died from heat stroke or simple overlaying. I was too young for a job of this size, could not make a difference to the chickens. I despise myself for not knowing more, not understanding more. Each cage was just large enough for the chickens to back up one pace, go forward one pace. I hated the job. HATED THE JOB!!! I also had no choice, as I needed to eat, too. At 12, I still knew it was wrong, but could do nothing. Lynn Porter

Lynn Porter

Larry, your blanket statement is'ITS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE!!" The picture is gruesome, but quite accurate. I managed a "chicken Ranch" when I was 12. 8000 chickens lived in cages that did not allow the chickens to turn in any direction. The heat was overwhelming, the cold worse. I knew at that age what I was seeing was WRONG! Yet, I had to do the job. The chickens had feces heaped below the cages until it rotted their feet, at which point the owners would wring the chickens necks. I tried everything I could think of to help, but nothing ever came of my squeaking at the owners. There was no way to help the poor creatures. Fed once a day and watered the same, the animals could never escape the abysmally hideous cages except by dying. Never actually cared for, placed in ramped cages so their eggs would roll down to be collected, candled and packed, I loathed the job the conditions the owners. Yet, I worked there because my mother was bed-ridden and couldn't work at all. Someone had to, and it was all I could get. Even I think that was a weak excuse on my part. I had no one to turn to, no place to get help for them. No, Larry, you don't realize what you mumble of. They are NOT all the same, some are worse. Lynn Porter

Elaine Brown

Larry, Larry, Larry! Please how ignorant do you think we are? I raise chickens, all of 30, for their eggs. We never eat or kill our chickens BTW. And my chickens are free range. They are the healthiest group of birds you have ever seen and we love them that way. I feed my dogs their raw egg yolks because I never have to worry about Salmonella like I would have to were I buying store-bought eggs.

Factory Farming is a horror and you should wise up.


larry larry larry! not all free range farms are the same.
a lot of free range farms are bad and the chooks are very unhappy.
but hey most free range farms are the best i mean would you
prefer to live in a paddock or a prisen?
even if they are sent to slaughter at a few years old in factory farms
they are killed by the time there one month old!!!
in free range farms they are not dosed with hormones or antibiotics,
in free range farms they are not kept in a tiny wire cage
no in free range farms they get to roam were they want.
my happy hens are free range (even though i do not live on a farm)
and my hens are never killed or eaten if they die they die of old age.
save the chickens!!!


You would have us believe that they sought high and low until they found one nightmarish photo of abused chickens and then they manipulatively posted that, whereas every other farm in America is just fine and healthy and humane. I'm not buying it. Besides, even if it were just one horrific example, that is one too many animal concentration camps for me. Did you look at that photo?

There is always someone who wants to tell me how good the carriage horses of NYC have it, how sweetly the farm factory animals have it, how humanely the lab animals in America are treated, etc.

I'm not going to say angry and demeaning things. I am simply not buying it. I am supporting the rights of animals...every chance I get.