The Chicken Out! team are going out and about on a tour of a number of UK cities over the 39 days spanning between 10th August and 17th September. The tour will last the same amount of days as a broiler house chicken lives, from the day of hatching to the day they are shipped to the supermarket shelves.
The tour coincides with a daily blog which tells the story of a factory farmed chick’s lifetime from the day it hatches until the end of its short life 39 days later. Chickens that are raised for meat in broiler houses live an unnatural and short life. Intensive farming of chickens means that large numbers of birds are crammed into vast broiler houses with no natural light, no stimulation to promote natural behaviour such as scratching and perching, and large numbers of the birds die before they even reach the age required to be sent off for food.
With about 800 million chickens sent off to slaughter each year in the UK alone, it is important that we take steps to ensure the food we eat has a good life before landing on our plate. Present estimations are that 90% of the chicken we consume originates in broiler houses; something the Chicken Out! campaign strives to eliminate. Standards such as the RSPCA Freedom Food scheme go some way towards improving the welfare for chickens by providing more space, natural daylight and stimulation for the birds to help combat boredom and encourage natural behaviour providing a compromise between broiler house and free range production, but if you can stretch to free range you won’t only be doing the chicken’s a favour, but you’ll probably find you have a tastier meal from a healthier bird too.
The Chicken Out! team, complete with chicken mascot, will be visiting cities including Edinburgh, Cardiff, Plymouth and Leeds, and have already been to Liverpool and Birmingham spreading the word about the importance of choosing and supporting free range chicken and egg production. Pictures of the chicken mascot at the Birmingham event can be seen on the Chicken Out! flickr page together with mugshots of many people supporting the campaign.