Higher-Welfare Chicken: Turning Over a New Leaf
Chicken Scratch is an ASPCA Blog feature that highlights interesting news about farm animals and farm animal welfare.
- Foster Farms, California’s biggest chicken producer, is back in the news. Last year the company was accused of sickening people with Salmonella bacteria, and the USDA threatened to close the company’s plants. Since then, the company has taken steps to reduce its rates of Salmonella, including through better cleaning of its chicken sheds. This is a good first step that the rest of the industry should follow, but improving welfare through other means such as more space and indoor enrichment should also be a top priority.
- Well done, Unilever! The food-manufacturing giant has announced that it is working to prevent destruction of baby male chicks in the egg industry.
- Perdue Foods, the third-largest chicken producer in the country, announced that it has stopped using antibiotics in all of its chicken hatcheries. This shift reflects increasing consumer discomfort with the amount of antibiotics used to raise chickens. Food Safety News reports that “the company has used antibiotics for growth promotion since 2007 and continues to use antibiotics in some of its hatched birds,” so taking these steps to change is a big deal for Perdue. We’re glad some producers are listening and we encourage all consumers to demand better for chickens and for themselves with our supermarket request letter.
- We can’t stop giggling at these chickens shaking their tail feathers in this addicting techno chicken video! Speaking of videos, please watch our awesome new chicken video and share it with your friends!