During January and February of 2007, the NZ Open Rescue Collective investigated an Inghams intensive broiler chicken farm, documenting the conditions which they found. Inghams are the NZ exclusive suppliers to KFC.
During the first week of the investigation the team found many dead chicks, chicks with obvious leg disorders, chicks which were stuck inside feeders and several “runt” chicks.
“Runt” chicks are those that do not grow as fast as the other chicks in the shed. These chicks inevitably die from starvation and dehydration as the automated feed and water distributors rise in height each week, so that eventually “runt” chicks cannot access them.
During the follow up investigation, the team found many more chicks with leg disorders. The chicks at this farm were now 4 weeks of age. A four week old broiler chicken is the same size as a normal adult chicken. These babies in adult bodies still have blue eyes and cheep like the chicks they are.
Broiler chickens have been selectively bred for an extremely fast growth rate. This means that they are ready for slaughter at just five weeks of age. Broiler chicks are prone to leg disorders because their skeletons do not grow as fast as their muscle mass. This means that their bones literally cannot support their bodies.
The team documented one chick in particular who could not walk or even stand. Her legs were completely splayed out beneath her. She struggled to reach the feed and water, competing with the thousands of other chicks confined on this factory farm.
The Open Rescue Collective have stated they will continue investigations at broiler farms around New Zealand. Their aims being to consistently expose cruelty behind closed doors, to raise awareness and to continue to provide irrefutable evidence why factory farming should be banned.
Video of the New Zealand Open Rescue team in action (including the KFC Broiler Farm investigation)