Pick up a standard chicken in most supermarkets and the package is unlikely to tell you much about how that chicken was produced. As around 90% of chickens in the UK are farmed in intensive systems, unless it clearly states otherwise, the chicken you’re buying has probably been reared in these conditions.

Check the labels, packaging can be misleadingMany supermarkets are using packaging that includes meaningless descriptions such as ‘farm fresh’, ‘reared to our standards,’ and images representing the countryside that could imply chickens live a healthy, outdoor life. Unless the chicken is free-range or organic, this is often not the case.

Clear and honest labelling will ensure shoppers know the conditions in which their chicken was produced and make it easier to choose higher welfare alternatives. By law, egg boxes must be labelled with the farming method and this has decreased sales of battery eggs. So why can't chicken meat be labelled honestly too?

Chicken Out! is working to ensure shoppers are given clearer information on the meat they buy and that the laws improve to better protect chickens reared for food.

“If you sense reluctance either on the packaging or the menu I believe you are entitled to assume the worst.”
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Download our Consumer guide for more advice on buying chicken.

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