Chicken farming, along with all other livestock farming, has received major backlash over recent years upon the discovery of how the animals are cared for. But what people seldom consider is that these methods have not always been this way. Chicken farms around the 1800s originated as backyard ventures to provide both eggs and chicken meat, after which they slowly grew to become an integral part of the agricultural industry.
Chicken farms house both broiler chickens, raised specifically for their meat, and hens, whose job it is to produce eggs. Both are essential in chicken farming and have grown proportionately to one another over the years. Decades ago the largest worries farmers had regarding chickens were access to prime land conditions and the necessary feeding resources. Today, most chicken farms are a product of advanced technology and biology. They are fed a lot more than just grains and seeds and are administered an extensive amount of chemicals to grow at a faster rate and to a bigger size than naturally achieved.
As farms have transformed from producing small amounts of poultry meat and products to mass producing for the food industry, the chicken has become one of the most commonly eaten meats. This is also due to the fact that it is cheaper than meats like beef or pork. However, this desire for mass production led many chicken farms astray. Many farms turned to unethical means of farming, such as overcrowding in poultry facilities, lack of hygiene and the mistreatment of the animals during the raising of the chicken, all for the sake of quantity rather than quality. Although the industry has been exposed numerous times before, many farms still pursue this route.
On a brighter note, many self-respecting farm owners across the globe made the move to free range farming, ensuring the safety and proper treatment of the chickens before they are moved to the slaughter process. Free range farms refrain from using hormone boosting chemicals as far as possible and, in doing so, produce better quality chicken for all consumers around the world.
The changes in chicken farms over time may have gone from modest to humongous volumes and humane to brutal treatment, but constant awareness of these types of farms allow for a stricter industry protocol and safer farming conditions. Luckily for the industry, not all chicken farms have their sights set on money above morals.