The Tale of Two Chickens

written by

Aila Holley

posted on

May 24, 2023

The City Chicken

The first chicken, the city chicken, went to a factory. It’s not a literal factory, but it acts like one.  This is the kind of place where people push buttons and everything works and then they can just come back tomorrow.  This chicken will grow up with thousands and possibly thousands and thousands of its closest friends…and by closest that doesn’t mean that are friendly necessarily.  They may be “cage-free” or “free range” but this mainly means that they are raised in a factory environment.  Even organic simply mean they are fed organic feed and does not speak to the type of life they lead.  This chicken will grow up only knowing artificial light and the breeze of ventalition fans .  Maybe it’s lucky and is near the end of the barn that is open to the outside world.  It will eat exactly the same food everyday with no variation, meaning it will all taste exactly the same.  When this chicken reaches its full size, it will be loaded onto a truck and taken to a facility where an assembly line will process it.  It will be run through a gauntlet of hot water to scald it and then an aggressive plucker…and possibly a series of bleach baths to cleanse it.  It will be processed in working conditions that are so rigid that workers are known to wear diapers to work because they don’t always get breaks when needed.  It may be mechanically separated into the products available at grocery stores and restaurants.  After the chicken and its MANY friends are cleared out for processing the barn will need to be cleaned out. All the bedding containing all the waste will have to be removed and somehow disposed of.  Because of the high concentration of straight manure, it becomes a burden on waste treatment facilities to process it.  

shutterstock_1931113808.jpg
The home for the city chicken. Photo credit shutterstock
shutterstock_511260613.jpg
Commercial chicken processing. Photo credit Shutterstock

More from the blog

The Future of Food

Do you feel overwhelmed shopping for food? So many labels and claims to sort through? *Natural *Hormone Free *Cage Free *Free Range *Grass-fed

What’s Up Wednesday

I'm starting a new blog/email called "What's Up Wednesday" where we'll share what's going on on the farm. This week we'll be moving the hens out the their summer campers The WinniEggos and they will start traveling the fields.