What are broilers and how long do they live?

 What are broilers and how long do they live?

Broilers are chickens raised for meat. In factory farms, they are usually slaughtered when they are only six to seven weeks old. Broilers are among the smartest animals in the world. But despite their suffering they are very much hidden from the public. Selected to grow too much in a short period of time, broilers live tragically short lives on factory farms - often with untreated injuries. , falling under the collapsing weight.

What are broilers?

 Broilers are chickens bred specifically for meat. A variety of hybrids designed to grow quickly, broilers are common in factory farms around the world.

 What is the difference between broilers and layers?

What is the difference between broilers and layers?

In order to produce large quantities of meat and eggs as efficiently (and cheaply) as possible, modern industrial production relies on a practice called selective breeding. Over the decades, farmers have trained animals to have certain characteristics, such as fast growth rates or the ability to lay large eggs. Today, there are two types of chickens raised in production farms: "broilers," or chickens raised for meat, and "layers" or hens raised to lay eggs. 

Broilers are selected to have certain desirable characteristics, such as developing breast muscles, which are then sold as "white meat" or "chicken breast." Layers or egg laying chickens, are used by egg factories and selected to produce high volumes of eggs.

Broiler chicken breed

There are hundreds of different types of chickens, all with different sizes, characteristics and beautiful feather patterns. However, only a few breeds of broilers are used in industrial farms today.

Unfortunately, this selective breeding has led to serious health problems in chickens. Many can't walk or even stand, spending their lives enjoying burning their feet and skin. Some develop heart problems and die within weeks.

 How to raised broilers?

To understand what these animals go through, let's follow a broiler chicken throughout its life. A broiler begins its life in the hatchery, where thousands and thousands of eggs are produced. She will never see her parents, because they were kept in separate breeding facilities.  

When he is about a day old, he will be placed in a conveyor belt, to be vaccinated by injection or spray. Then the conveyor belt will place it in a conveyor case the size of a large desk drawer. Filled with thousands of other chicks, her room will be thrown into a truck to be taken to the "breeding center." This is where he was destined to spend most of his short life.
A chicken coop is usually a large windowless house where the chickens are kept indoors at all times. These houses can accommodate hundreds of thousands of birds; in 2012, the average broiler farm in California and Nebraska was over 500,000 birds.

 Broiler chickens will not see the light of day or smell the air. He will spend the remaining weeks of his life surrounded by other birds, suffering health problems due to his excessive growth. If he survives for six or seven weeks, he will eventually leave the warehouse, only to endure a brutal slaughter  in his final moments.
When he arrives at the slaughterhouse, he will be shackled, terrified and struggling to breathe. He had to go through a heated bath, which was meant to stun her before split by the throat. If it is stunned inappropriately (as is the case with thousands of chickens every year), it can even be boiled alive. 

How long do broilers live?
Generally speaking, chickens can live for many years. Matilda, Red Pyle's hen, has broken the Guinness World Record for the world's longest living hen, for 16 years. Although Matilda's lifespan varies, the lifespan of a hen can be between 5 and 12 years. "
 The life expectancy of broilers is greatly reduced.
But in industrial farming conditions, the life of broilers is greatly reduced. Birds can be killed between 21 and 170 days. In the US, the usual age to kill is 47 days, while in the EU the age to kill is 42 days. Although these birds may appear to be adults due to their rapid growth rate, industrial birds are still chicks when they are killed. This is just one of the many health, welfare and environmental problems caused by raising broilers on factory farms.

Do broilers lay eggs?
Yes, broilers can lay eggs. Known as parents, breeders or breeder birds, hens that lay and fertilize eggs for broiler farms are an important part of the poultry industry.
Like chickens, broilers are often culled in various ways, such as beak clipping and beak trimming, where part of the beak and comb (crest) are removed. Broiler breeders are raised in facilities similar to regular broiler brooders, in mixed flocks to provide opportunities for mating and breeding. The eggs are collected and sent to hatcheries, where the life of broilers begins.

Welfare issues

In any concentrated animal feed operation (CAFO), regardless of the species raised, conditions are so unnatural that they raise many welfare issues. But broilers suffer some of the worst of any animal. Having been confined to a cramped, confined space for their entire lives, they are eventually killed in live chains, which are known to cause great suffering.

Below are some of the factors that cause major welfare problems in the broiler industry. 

In the wild, chickens live in small groups, often with their own chicks. But broiler coops are very different. These companies often have tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of birds in each chicken house. Chickens are kept in such high quality that each bird has only a chance at one marked sheet to live its entire life. Stiffness restricts their movement, preventing them from exercising properly. Since other birds often step on them when they lie down, they don't have a chance to rest.

Broilers are transported twice in their life: once as chicks, when they are transported from the production center to the grower's house, and finally from the house to the 'slaughterhouse at about 47 days. The transport box is about the size of a large desk drawer and does not provide enough space for the bird to be transported safely or effectively. 

Transportation is known to be a source of stress for birds at both stages of their lives. Adverse experiences in growing barns - such as dehydration, starvation and/or poor temperatures - can lead to stunted growth and increased risk of disease as birds and -continue to grow. The overcrowded and, cramped conditions in shipping containers are exacerbated by the psychological stress of foreign environments.
One of the most common methods used to kill animals is killing by live shackle, which is known to be the worst cause of animal suffering in abattoirs. The birds are hung up, and their legs are tied with irons, often resulting in fractures. They are taken to a place where they are taken to a bath of hot water intended to kill them before their throats are slit, and their bodies are thrown to a place where their feathers are removed.

Bird health problems

Many health problems in broilers are caused by the selection breeding process, where certain types of chickens are selected to grow faster. Although rapid growth can be great for production schedules and company profits, it leads to many painful and exhausting conditions for broilers.

  • Cardiovascular dysfunction

Broilers are prone to cardiovascular dyfunction, including heart failure. Sudden death and ascites  syndrom are common heart diseases in broiler flocks. Heart disease is widespread due to rapid growth and breeding, as well as food shortages, encouraging larger birds to bring more money to the industry. Heart arrhythmias can be caused by many things, including stress or other diseases.

  • Skeletal dysfunction

The bones of broilers that are usually made can cause many painful conditions. In fast-growing species, the bird's body takes on more tissue weight faster than the bones can support, causing health problems such as deformities in the bones. These conditions begin to develop in younger as early as 6 days and prevent them from getting food or water, leading to long-term death from starvation. "

Those who select broilers for large breasts also put a negative strain on their skeletal system. The weight of the heart muscle and the weight of the whole body can put pressure on the leg and cause tibial dyschondroplasia.

  • Integument lesions

lesions develop on the breast, leg, and hock (ankle joint). These painful sores and sores, called integument sores, are the result of long-term contact of chickens with their own feces, which contains a lot of ammonia.
The skin also develops due to lack of exercise, which causedby overcrowding. The chicken's inability to move often causes other physical deformities, such as skeletal lameness, which reduce the bird's activity.

  • Environmental problems

Poultry waste is one of the main sources of environmental pollution from the poultry industry. The waste produces air pollutants, including ammonia, methane and sulfur dioxide. Industrial agriculture also causes water pollution, including eutrophication - which occurs when large amounts of nutrients reduce oxygen levels in water bodies, resulting in the death of marine life - and acidification.

Ammonia is a toxic gas produced by waste that can cause serious illness in birds and farmers. In factory farms, broilers develop ammonia lesions when they come into frequent contact with their own waste, which occurs frequently due to overcrowded conditions. When inhaled, large amounts of ammonia can  cause inflammation in  birds and farmers, and it has been shown to change metabolism, cause cell apoptosis, and cause mitochondrial damage in the intestinal tract.


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