How Many Chickens Does KFC Kill a Year?

KFC and the ‘Colonel’s Special Sauce’ is truly a worldwide phenomenon with over 27,000 outlets across the globe. Let’s just say, they get through a lot of chickens! But just how many chickens does KFC kill a year? How do the chicken’s lives play out? What is the real story behind the bucket? Today we put KFC under the microscope …

How Many Chickens Does KFC Kill a Year?

 According to various sources KFC kill between 750 million and 1 billion chickens every year feeding the insatiable demand for this very popular meat. All the stats I could find were from at least 10 years ago so it’s probably well over 1 billion a year now. 


Watch: VFC Foods go undercover at a farm supplying KFC

(warning: some viewers may find this footage upsetting)


It’s Finger Lickin’ Everywhere

According to the UN FAO, chicken comes in at a close second to pork as the most consumed meat in the world. In fact this trusted source has chicken firmly in the top spot.

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Rightly or wrongly, chicken is seen as a healthy alternative to beef as a protein source and whether it is chicken or pork we are most fond of, there’s no getting away from the fact that we consume vast amounts of chicken meat globally.

With such huge demand, the human race has developed supply chains which see upwards of 70 billion birds slaughtered every year to satisfy our taste buds.

Seventy BILLION.

In fact, the source of that number is quoting 2020 figures so it’s likely closer to 80 billion now. I can’t even imagine that number of sentient animals being killed every year. Just the physical act of it alone.

There’s so much violent negative energy tied up in chicken consumption the perpetrators better hope karma isn’t a thing because these people are coming back as broilers if it is!


The Broiler: a Desperate Living Hell

Broiler chickens are birds raised exclusively for their meat. They are slaughtered at such a young age that they will never lay a single egg.

A huge shed packed full of Broiler chickens nearing slaughter age.
Credit: Lukas Vincour / Zvířata Nejíme We Animals Media

According to Compassion In World Farming, the average broiler chicken will live for roughly 2% of the time it would naturally live in the wild.

Equating this to the average European who lives to around 80 years old would mean a human life cut short at only a year and a half old.

Most broiler chickens are just 6 week old babies when we kill them.

Yet for these ill-fated animals death is a welcome relief. We’ve bred broiler chickens to such a degree that many have trouble supporting their own body weight because they grow too fast.

They exist in desperately cramped conditions in vast sheds often with no natural light and their bedding is never changed. As they quickly grow larger, they find it increasingly more difficult to get to the food station.

Their droppings quickly build up over the 6 week rearing phase and fill the air with a burning ammonia gas which affects their lungs, eyes, feet and bodies.

The conditions we subject these birds to are so intolerable and their genetics so unnatural that many animals die of a heart attack before they even reach the slaughterhouse.


Are You Ok With Their Suffering?

Chickens are intelligent and form complex social structures in the wild but for whatever reason, they are perceived as a lesser animal to a cow, for example.

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This inaccurate perception allows the human race to treat chickens with even less respect than many of our other ‘food animals’. Factory farmed pigs and cows have a horrendous life but the way we treat chickens is simply off the scale.

When the broiler’s short, miserable life nears its end the birds are painfully ‘harvested’ using machines which can scoop up 9000 poor souls in an hour.

Many birds are already dead when they reach the slaughterhouse.

Of those that survive, a good percentage are not stunned properly and are fully conscious when their throats are slit using automated methods.

It’s a barbaric end to a dismal life and all because Colonel Sanders wants to turn a profit (other purveyors of chicken are available).

Others Also Read: Do Chickens Feel Sad When Another Chicken Dies?” 

… and because our perception of chickens is different to other food animals, we feel less disturbed by their utterly inhumane treatment.

But now that you know just how bad it is … are you ok with it?


There’s a Very Simple Solution

More enlightened future generations will look back on this period of human degeneration and try to explain to their kids how wholly misguided our endeavours were.

Close up of a golden brown chicken with red crest, pictured behind a wire fence. We currently seem to be unable to divert from a path which is making human extinction ever more likely. Animal agriculture is a huge driver of biodiversity loss and climate change.

That’s not an opinion.

The short term pursuit of ever increasing rates of profit has brought our civilisation to the precipice. We are teetering on the brink of wholesale meltdown yet we’re too arrogant to see it.

As we revel in our magnificence mother nature is sending us a very clear warning sign. Will we wake up in time to heed the warning? I honestly hope so.

I want my daughter to grow up in a world where these massive issues we face are addressed. She will never have the idyllic childhood that I did but the least we can do is ensure it’s habitable.

Not too much to ask, hey?

We need to be more clever than this. Veganism is one way we can make a big difference. I’m not saying it’s the only solution but it will help massively in mitigating the negative effects we’re starting to see coming down the line.


Would You Consider a Plant Based Lifestyle?

Veganism is all about reducing, as much as is practically possible, our demand for animal based products. Most vegans were meat eaters before they learned of the horrors like those raised in this article.

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Compassion and empathy kick in and we feel like we have to do something to make a stand against this dystopian madness. Choosing to go vegan is that something.

It’s the one thing we can easily do to make a stand against an industry which is responsible for the brutal suffering and slaughter of more than 80 billion land animals every single year.

87% of which are chickens!

If you step back for a moment and just apply some basic logic to the situation, there are two options. Rejecting the status quo or continuing to create demand for products in which extreme cruelty is baked in.

I choose the former and I hope you will consider doing the same.

I believe the future of our civilisation depends on it.

I hope this article has helped to answer your question today and has crystallised the issue somewhat for you. I’d love to know what you think so please leave your comments below – I always respond. Please also share this article far and wide using the social buttons.

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Thanks so much for reading and have a peaceful day.

  • Rohan.


Image of me. Rohan.Rohan McAvee is just another vegan blogger trying to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of veganism and plant-based living. Based in the UK, for more than a decade he has been walking the vegan walk, trying to do the right thing for the animals. He’s never really wavered or been tempted to stray from the path and now feels he’s at the point where he can offer advice to new vegans and those considering making the switch. Vegan and loving it!





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