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A New KFC Documentary Shows The Living Conditions Of Their Chickens

The BBC's Billion Dollar Chicken Shop documentary includes a visit to one of the farms that help supply 23 million chickens to KFC each year. Animal rights activists are not happy about it, calling life in the sheds "a wretched existence".

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A BBC documentary about KFC called Billion Dollar Chicken Shop includes a visit to one of the British farms that supplies the firm with chickens.

Production / BBC/Wild Pictures

This shed alone contains 34,000 chickens, overseen by Andrew (pictured), a KFC supplier who has worked in chicken farming for 35 years. In the show, he explains that the chickens live in good conditions, and that they are kept alive for between 35 and 42 days, depending on the bird's weight.

The chickens are kept indoors. When asked by the programme makers whether it is a problem that chickens walk on their own waste, Andrew responds that they have sawdust to walk on too.

After the birds have reached the required weight, the chickens are gassed, cut into nine pieces, and then sent to a centre for chilling.

KFC claims its chicken is "fresh" because it goes from shed to store within 48 hours.

Animal rights campaigners say the chickens endure "a wretched existence".

Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler told the Daily Mail that "they endure a wretched existence in giant windowless sheds stinking with ammonia. A very large number die from starvation or dehydration. About 900 million of these birds are produced in country each year, [and] about 30 million plus die in the sheds."

But Andrew claims that the chickens in the shed are healthy.

In the documentary, he picks up a chicken and shows it to the camera. "We have beautifully clean feet and that's a good sign that these birds are healthy and are being grown on good litter," he says. "And you can see that this is a good healthy chicken."

"I can't think there is anything better than sat in a chicken house looking at chickens, and I mean you can see for yourself, they look absolutely fantastic," he adds.

Billion Dollar Chicken Shop / youtube.com

"They have a short life but they have a good life. I wouldn't mind being a chicken in here."

A KFC spokesperson told the Mail: "Animal welfare is essential for high quality food and is important to our customers, and all of KFC’s suppliers meet or exceed UK and EU welfare requirements. KFC was the first quick-service restaurant to gain Red Tractor certification and we have in place our own robust standard, which is independently audited by third parties."

You can watch the trailer for the show here.

View this video on YouTube

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Billion Dollar Chicken Shop is on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC One. You can watch the first episode on BBC iPlayer.

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