There are around 50 billion chickens crammed together in various poultry farms as of now. Their conditions, unknown. Different breeds are raised every year, only to be slaughtered in the end for meat and eggs. While other animals, such as pigs, cows, goats, etc. are killed for the same purpose, their numbers spiral down when it comes to the killing of chickens. Now, the question arises: how many chickens are killed every year?
Knowing the breeds
To answer the question above, one needs to know the types of chicken that are raised around the world. In today’s world, the number of chicken breeds can vary from one continent to the other. Therefore, determining the number of breeds raised can be a little tricky. But, for starters, here’s a list of significant kinds that are raised all over the globe.
Egg-layers do the job of the same name. Their job requires them to lay nearly 300 eggs a year. The hens after this egg-laying period get tired, and are, therefore, disposed of. The male chickens, on the other hand, are killed at a very young age. Their uses include pet food supplies, fertilizer creation, etc.
These birds are raised for their meat. The term specifically here refers to literal specific from the poultry farm’s perspective. They are raised and then killed, irrespective of their gender. The chickens are slaughtered once they are aware of their existence. A day comes when they open their eyes, and most probably after a few more days, they’re shut forever.
As the name suggests, these chickens are considered the best for breeding purposes, that’s why the name. Breeders can either be a male or a female, but for the most part, females get to do the job rather than males. Like every other breed on the list, they die after their job is done.
Understanding the raising process
The world population of chickens is considered to be around 50 billion; out of these 50 billion birds, a near 40 billion are broilers. On an average poultry farm, broilers take birth in numbers. After the eggs hatch, they’re raised in cramped spaces. These spaces are crowded with thousands of birds at any instance; the chickens are huddled together tightly, creating room for several diseases.
The raising of chickens causes several problems. These problems vary from diseases to organ failures and uneven body growth. Some of these significant problems can be listed below.
- Poultry farmers use body growth-enhancing chemicals on chickens for their rapid growth.
- These chemicals are supposed to reduce the time of growth, but end up deforming the bodies of chickens.
- Coupled with the risk of diseases, chickens die due to organ failures.
- The number of chickens raised also leads to overgrazing.
- Poor management also leads to an unrecorded number of deaths.
A global perspective
Chicken rearing isn’t a practice limited to a few nations, a large number of industries dedicated to this job are found in nearly every continent. The production numbers may vary, but the system of rearing remains the same. Speaking of countries, here’s a list of those nations that produce the most number of chickens on this planet.
- United States
Here’s another list of chicken producers prominent in Europe.
- United Kingdom
And that’s not all, here’s another list of significant importers of chicken meat.
- Hong Kong
Which sector is responsible for the most number of slaughters?
Industrial farming is the leading sector responsible for giving this world 70% of global chicken meat. The world population of chickens dwarfs many other species combined. But this large population gives these chickens nothing but death and mayhem. Their conditions vary from poor to nightmarish, depending upon the industries raising them.
Diseases and other anomalies run rampant among these poor souls, yet they aren’t protected by the Humane Slaughter Act. Some other livestock does enjoy the rights assured by the act, but not chickens. Eggs and meat are what these birds are raised for, the conditions and enclosures, however, do not support the fullest efficiency and cleanliness.
An excellent example of the unhygienic condition of these birds is the irony, which states that most chicken breeds prefer self-cleaning. Still, due to tight enclosures and frantic shipments, they end up defecating on each other. Some breeds do get a golden chance of spreading their wings while others do not. This causes a lot of irritation and stress among chicken breeds as they start pecking each other wildly.
Farmers, on the other hand, tackle these problems by removing a few parts from their beaks. In this world where development has skyrocketed, human morals have, on the other hand, plunged to the pits of hell. It is nothing but scary.