Is it true that Tyson Foods, a known brand of chicken and eggs, will kill twenty-five percent of its chickens each week? And if so, how many are slaughtered in the process? The answer, thankfully, is “no.” According to a spokesperson for the poultry company, the number of chickens it has killed per week is only one out of one hundred. The real number, she said, is closer to one out of three.
The percentage of chickens killed by Tyson Foods is not an industry-leading statistic. The retail giant’s policy is to never kill more than twenty-five percent of its chickens in a given week. This includes all birds, eggs, and chickens sold throughout the year. The goal is to carefully focus animal resources on the animals that will yield the greatest value to the company. In the case of chickens, this means the young and the old.
When asked if it considers its chickens “food,” the spokesperson replied, “No.” She explained, “We treat each chicken as a pet, just as you would with another pet. Each chicken has its own breed, size, and time frame. As a general rule, we try to minimize the number of sick or distressed birds while maximizing the number of chicks that survive to maturity.” For those interested in learning more about the profitability of breeding chicken for meat, she recommended that readers visit the independent Chicken Feeding Report website.
While the cost of a single day of chicken meat may seem like a big investment, it is not compared with the high cost of illness or death in terms of human food. The cost of a single chicken egg is just over one dollar. A single sick chicken can cost a family over ten dollars at a veterinarian’s bill. This price is certainly more than the price of a single egg.
It is estimated that approximately one million chickens are raised commercially in the United States, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). That means there is a daily supply of chicken meat for sale, according to USDA Food and Services. The question, then, as to how many chickens does Tyson kill per day? Answers provided by Tyson Foods did not include any chickens that have died or are sick from hatchery handling.
According to the Answers Foundation, an organization that strives to help people live healthy, responsible lives, “The cost of chicken meat is actually quite reasonable. And because chicken meat is also a very good source of protein, your family is not only saving money on fresh chicken meat, but on other foods as well, such as eggs and dairy.” In addition to her chicken feed business, Ms. Tyson is a contributing writer for The New York Times and contributes regularly to various television and radio shows. She has also traveled extensively throughout the world, speaking at colleges and businesses, making positive comments about sustainability, animal rights and other issues. So the question, how many chickens does Tyson kill per day? remains unanswered.