I wandered around the farm with my dad and one of the farm kids showed us the 'chicken houses'. There were three big houses each with 25,000 chickens. He explained that these chickens aren't like for eggs or something. They were for Tyson. Tyson chicken. They were growing up to be broilers.
At first I felt sad because these chickens seemed so cute but the accommodations didn't seem so bad. They were free to walk around and do whatever. It was relatively clean and they seemed like they had food and stuff. Granted I know that it's totally sad thinking that they only live to two months before it's off to the processing plant -but at least it wasn't some horror show with cages stacked on top of cages.
Then we wondered about when Tyson comes to pick up 75,000 chickens. How exactly is that done? As they're all just running around and stuff.
I thought of some terrible backhoe situation or something but it's not like that. Apparently these dudes come at night when the chickens are sleeping. And basically pick them up by hand 3-4 at a time and put them in boxes. It takes all night to pick up all the chickens. (Think about that next time you complain about a job.)
I tried to think of something that seemed easier than that but I couldn't think of anything that wouldn't hurt the chickens. I'm sure the gatherer guys have given it some thought too. Of course it's not the hurting of the chickens that worries them. It's the 'damaging of the merchandise'.
All in all it was a bit disturbing to see 'where chickens come from' but it wasn't as terrible as I would have imagined. Of course I do realize the next stage for these cute little birds ain't nearly as friendly.
It kind of looked like this: