white broiler

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Axel: In Loving Memory of a Guy Who Was One in a Billion — or 50 Billion

Each year, more than 50 billion chickens are slaughtered for food worldwide — a number that, if you attempt to break it down, seems impossible. Hundreds of millions of chickens in the meat industry perish even before they are sent out to slaughter — and they are still just babies.  

Many of the birds above will have died before they even reached 2 months of age. An industry that bases its profits on fast growth and no individualized care is no place for any living being. 

And like every cow, sheep, pig, dog, cat, or human, each of those billions of birds, when pulled out and met on their own terms, is an individual with their own personality, their own quirks, and their own needs.

Sweet baby Axel arrived sick, frightened, and injured — thankfully, fate brought him to Farm Sanctuary. 

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Broiler

commercial ‘white rock’ broilers are mixed ancestry of cornish(left) and white plymouth(right) chickens to create a muscular, fast growing bird. Broilers suffer from many health conditions including impulsive eating, skeletal and cardiovascular dysfunction, and neurological issues. for meat, birds are butchered at around 5-7 weeks of age.

adult birds kept as breeding stock have fully developed secondary sex characteristics. reproducing broilers is a challenge because their compulsive eating may be fatal, so parent flocks are starved to not over eat to death.