In 2021, a brave Animal Outlook investigator took a hidden camera inside a North Carolina chicken hatchery owned by Case Farms that processes more than 200,000 chicks daily. Our investigation reveals the torment these fragile chicks experience and the devastating impact of viewing animals as food products.

In the chicken industry, which produces the chicken Americans eat,  babies suffer from the moment they hatch. Major corporations like Case Farms, one of the top 15 chicken producers in the U.S., treat these innocent chicks as unfeeling widgets on a production line, transporting them by the thousands on dangerous machinery that traps, maims, dismembers or pulverizes many of them.

Of those 200,000 chicks processed daily at the facility, many are killed in the process, and those who survive will be used as food. Many are deformed, hatch improperly, or hatch early and die before even entering the production line. It doesn’t take overt cruelty for chicks to suffer prolonged torture and painful deaths. All it takes is human indifference.

Animal Outlook's undercover footage revealed:

  • Newly-hatched chicks killed, mangled, maimed or trapped in equipment or machinery that was improperly operated or set up. 
  • Some chicks were not mangled by machines but were deformed, hatched improperly, hatched early and died, etc.
  • Chicks being roughly handled, thrown, having plastic trays dragged across them and crushing their throats, and driven over with machinery.
  • Injured or deformed chicks in trays with dead ones left to languish for hours. 
  • Gassing sick or injured birds before dumping them into a macerator to be sliced and rendered; in some instances, dumping fully conscious chicks into the macerator to be ground alive.

If chicks survive long enough, they go to factory farms for a few more torturous weeks before being killed for food at only about six weeks old. According to one of the workers at the facility, chicks sometimes fall through the floorboards of the trucks during transport to the factory farm and are run over by the cars behind. Sadly, these baby birds exist for the sole purpose of being turned into meat products, destined to endure lives of torment and misery before ultimately being killed. Industrial animal agriculture that looks much like this produces more than 99% of the chicken in this country.

All the while, Case Farms claims publicly to care about the treatment of animals. According to the Case Farms website, “the welfare of the animals under our care is of utmost importance.” 

Animal Outlook has notified local law enforcement and requested criminal charges against the Case Farms corporation for violation of North Carolina's animal cruelty and neglect laws. It’s clear that Case Farms does not take seriously its legal and ethical duties of care toward the millions of animals it brings into the world each month. In fact, it appears to be so callous, the cruelty and neglect it imposes on these animals is simply business as usual. It is incumbent upon us all as part of a caring society to ensure systemic abusers like this are held accountable. 

The Truth About Chickens

In this industry, chicks suffer from the moment they hatch until the moment they die. But you can help these animals every time you choose a vegan meal. Click here to learn more and sign up to receive coupons for discounts on vegan chicken alternatives.

Your support can ensure the horrors of factory farming are not kept hidden behind closed doors. Please donate today to help expose this cruel abuse.