Brace yourself: the first day on Earth for chickens is terrifying


It wasn’t meant to be this way...

LAST UPDATED: 13 November 2015

In nature, the first day of a chicken’s life is a pretty glorious affair. As doting mothers, hens will shield their babies under their wings to keep them warm and safe. Chicks will ‘imprint’ on mum almost immediately — keeping close and ‘cheeping’ constantly to keep her near.

It’s the same sound you will hear inside mega hatcheries that ‘produce’ chicks for the chicken meat industry. With one big exception: the cries of these babies will never be heard by their mums.

Actually, the contrast couldn’t be more unsettling.


Few people have ever seen inside these ‘industrial nurseries’. And understandably, it’s not something the chicken meat industry tends to advertise.

In a world-first undercover investigation, Anonymous for Animal Rights (Israel) has documented how the vast majority of factory-farmed animals — some 60 billion each year — enter this world. Chillingly, you too can now sense what it’s like to be born into a body that is treated literally like a production unit. Conveyor belts and all.

Fortunately for us, it’s just a video. But for those animals destined to become nuggets and chicken burgers, this is the inescapable reality.

And not just in Israel.

The Australian Chicken Meat Industry recommends that ‘unviable’ chicks be gassed or thrown into mincing machines — alive. This is a fate shared by roughly 3 million chicks born into the Australian chicken meat industry (and over 12 million male chicks born into the Australian egg industry) every year.

When you consider what horrors await their siblings in factory farms, one could argue that these are the ‘lucky’ ones...

Millions of ‘unviable’ chicks born into the meat industry are tossed alive into industrial mincing machines — or gassed — on their first day of life.

The sight of a frightened day-old chick, trembling with fear as she is thrown from conveyor belt to conveyor belt puts one thing very clearly into perspective… For all its ruthless efficiency, today’s meat industry has been unable to overcome the inconvenient fact that farmed animals are each living, breathing individuals with beating hearts.

The reality is, the shrink-wrapped chicken fillets that line our supermarket shelves are hiding a truth that would turn the stomach of most animal lovers. But there’s reason for optimism.

Today, more Australians than at any point in our history are choosing to cut back or eliminate meat from their meals. And thanks to cruelty-free food companies like Fry’s Family Foods, you can now have your ‘chicken’ burger, and eat it too.

Meat-free ‘chicken’ burgers taste just like the ‘real’ thing.

Hungry for more? We’ve got you covered. Download your free e-cookbook today. Or order your FREE veg starter kit for even more mouthwatering recipes and great tips on eating with kindness. 

Love animals? Subscribe and help end animal abuse:
I've read and accept the privacy policy
Like Animals Australia On Facebook
Our appetite for beef, dairy and fish is wiping out wild animals, and even threatening our own survival. Discover why » »

We all know that eating vegan is better for your health, animals and the planet. But sometimes you just want a big bowl of the hearty, familiar foods you know and love. These recipes are for you. Dig in » »

The sun on their faces. The grass under their feet. A spring in their step. All animals deserve freedom. Watch the heartwarming video now. Watch the heart-warming video » »

Investigations have revealed widespread puppy factory cruelty in Australia. Discover the truth, and what you can do to help. Read more » »

Lyn White, Campaign Director at Animals Australia, spoke to audiences across the country — and asked one simple question: 'Does history have to repeat itself or is it possible to have a kinder, more peace... Watch now » »

What began as a basic love for animals led Ian to find a passion for rescuing roos and other beloved Aussie natives. Read more » »

For the first time, an Australian organisation has been selected as a “standout charity” by U.S.-based Animal Charity Evaluators! Animals Australia has been awarded this evaluation in recognition of our efforts... Read more » »

Despite the nightly news doing its best to depress, from Australia to Brazil, China to Norway, there is one trait that unites humankind all over the world — kindness. Read on to discover some of the best animal... Be inspired » »

Love a documentary that opens your eyes and expands your mind? These are definitely for you ... Expand your mind » »

What contributes more to climate change than all the world’s planes, trains and automobiles combined? Hint: it’s not coal and it’s not good for humanity! Read more » »