Most broiler chickens (birds raised for meat) are confined with tens of thousands of other birds in barns throughout their short lives. The crowded conditions prevent them from developing a natural pecking order, and birds become aggressive toward one another as a result. Because broiler chickens are bred to reach “market weight” quickly their rapid growth can produce physical ailments such as broken limbs and heart attacks. High concentrations of ammonia from excess manure litter in barns frequently gives rise to respiratory illnesses and litter burn common problems at factory chicken farms.
Because industrial chicken farms focus on raising genetically similar birds bred for fast growth, diseases such as Avian Flu are easily spread from one susceptible bird to another decimating entire flocks. A common misconception of the disease is that it is spread along wildfowl migratory routes when in fact avian flu can be traced to trade routes and the industrial chicken farm.
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