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How do chickens get from the farm to the slaughterhouse? - Josh B, MB
Chickens are transported to processing plants in trucks specially designed for shipping poultry. First, catching crews gather the birds from the barn and place them into crates for transport. Specific codes of practice dictate the rules and methods used for gathering, crating and transporting chickens. For more information on the care and handling of farm animals, view the National Farm Animal Care Council’s Codes Of Practice available here (poultry is section 8.7), or see our From Farm To Table resource page.
What do poultry plants do with all the extra parts (beak, feathers, feet etc…)? - Caitlin D, ON
Hi Caitlin, that’s a great question. Every chicken processing plant has a slightly different approach, but no part goes unused. These parts can be used in the making of plastics, and some plants even use them as biofuel to power the plant!
Are there any rules or regulations around how many inches of floor space each chicken needs? - Dale F, ON
Yes. The amount of floor space required for each chicken is strictly regulated by national codes of practice to ensure birds have enough room to walk about and spread their wings. Specifically, the maximum weight allowed per unit of floor space is 31 kg/m2 (6.29 lb/ft2). This kind of looks like a cluster of baby chicks in a skating rink, so there’s lots of room to grow over the 6-8 weeks the birds will live in the barn. For more information see our Animal Care Program page.
What happens with all the chicken poop? - Marty T, ON
Barns are cleaned after every flock, with chicken poop most often sold for fertilizer production. However, some farmers use it on the farm as biomass fuel.
How are Canadian chickens kept?
Chickens raised for meat – called broilers – are kept in climate-controlled barns to protect against heat, cold, predators and diseases. The chickens are free to run (or roam) large areas at will and have access to feed and water 24 hours a day. This type of rearing is called free-run.