Tyson Foods keeps its breeder birds perpetually starving and desperate for food. When I started my investigation, I was prepared to see animals forced to live in miserable conditions, but I wasn’t prepared for was just how extreme that misery actually is. This is the first time anyone has worked undercover inside a “broiler” chicken breeding factory farm.
The egregious abuses were the most horrifying to witness: Tyson employees kicked, swung, and threw live birds by their wings, violently shoved them into cages, inhumanely and improperly killed them, and even punched or suffocated some animals to death. Workers also ran over birds with forklifts, crushed them with transport cages, and left them to slowly die.
I was also shocked to discover a cruel and painful practice that few people even know about — it’s never before been documented on hidden camera: workers grabbed young male breeder birds by their heads and stabbed dull plastic rods or “bones” through their sensitive nostrils, commonly referred to as “boning.” The wide plastic rods block the birds from fitting their heads inside certain food containers in order to limit what and how much they eat.
The good news is that after watching our investigative footage, Tyson announced that it’s immediately ending this cruel and barbaric practice.
But there’s still a crucial underlying issue that Tyson needs to address about this practice: why was it being done in the first place?
Tyson’s chickens have been genetically manipulated to grow so unnaturally obese so quickly that they often collapse under their own weight and some suffer from heart attacks. With such extreme growth, these birds have developed extreme appetites. However, unlike an average “meat” chicken, who will be slaughtered at less than two months old—before these ailments fully manifest—breeder birds must survive much longer.
Thus, to prevent these breeder birds from growing too big, too quickly, Tyson deliberately starves them -- leaving the birds in a constant state of hunger.
So while Tyson is taking a step in the right direction by ending the cruel practice of “boning,” these birds will continue to starve and suffer until the company stops breeding and raising birds who have been genetically manipulated for fast growth.
The best way we can help birds is to leave them off our plates, but we can also take a stand against cruelty by telling Tyson to stop starving birds!