Machipongo, VA - An Israeli researcher is claiming that thousands of
naked chickens could be crowded together in filthy, ammonia-filled
sheds awaiting their death the same as feathered chickens. His
attitude towards the chickens he is stripping bare in his laboratory
is expressed in his description of one of them as an "ugly beast"
(New Scientist, May 21, 2002). However, it is not the chicken who is
the ugly beast. This researcher's work should be rejected. It is not
only immoral; it is impracticable.
Chickens have thin skin, and "broiler" chickens have even thinner
skin, probably because they cannot manufacture enough skin cells to
cover their overweight bodies, which grow several times faster and
larger than normal chickens' bodies. The skin of "broiler" chickens
tears and bruises very easily, and it is very sensitive, even with
full plumage. Parent flock females are physically ravaged within a
few months of being locked up in breeder houses with the prematurely
aged, hormonally deranged cockerels, who are constantly mating with
them in lieu of normal growth and environmental stimulation.
Hens in battery cages typically lose 40 percent of their feathers
within a few months of caged confinement. They develop skin abrasions
and abscesses from constantly rubbing against one another. "Broiler"
chickens are raised on filthy ammonia-drenched litter (rice hulls and
excrement). They develop ammonia-burned breasts because the toxic
ammonia trapped in the litter burns through their breast feathers
causing painful breast blisters similar to bed sores. The poultry
industry has complained for decades about the "carcass damage" in
these birds resulting from the breast blisters, torn skin, bruises,
dermatitis, and other skin injuries and diseases that result from how
they are treated and raised.
Previous efforts to "save feed costs" by inflicting trauma and
deformity on chickens and turkeys have included burning off their
wings and tails and feeding them slurry through holes cut in their
necks. The theory was that they wouldn't have to "waste energy/feed"
in growing these appendages or by pecking. As Joyce D'Silva of
Compassion in World Farming told New Scientist (May 21, 2002)
regarding the featherless chicken research, "It's a prime example of
sick science and the suggestion that it would be an improvement for
developing countries is obscene."
The only possible positive outcome of this sick science is that it
shows the nadir of depravity to which a violent, animal-based diet
leads and thus encourages more people to become compassionate
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. For more information visit