Broiler an artificially created breed of chicken.
Intensively fattened, it lives only six weeks.
Broilers are the result of the Chicken of Tomorrow competition, which aimed to create a new variety of chicken that would be a major weapon in the fight against hunger. The anticipated result was a chicken with an oversized breast, better-muscled thighs and shanks, and a faster growth rate.
This started decades of suffering for chickens. The disproportion between muscle and internal organ development causes respiratory and circulatory problems, as well as movement problems, as their legs are too weak to support their body weight. The animals often die of heart attacks before they reach six weeks old. Broilers are the largest population of farm animals raised for meat in the world.
Chickens are raised in large halls that house up to fifty thousand birds. The halls are not cleaned throughout the life of a flock; excrement is removed every month and a half.
At the end of six weeks, the animals are caught by hand or mechanically and locked in cramped plastic containers, being crushed or have their legs broken during capture. They are then loaded onto a lorry and taken to a slaughterhouse. Hanging by their legs on a conveyor belt, they are transported to an electrified water bath where they are stunned and have their throats cut by a machine. Up to ten thousand birds may be slaughtered in an hour.