Can I raise a broiler chicken to old age if I sit it down in a little wheelchair?

Filed under: Poultry |

broiler chickens
Image by Marji Beach
February 2009: Ava died suddenly. Upon necropsy, it turned out Ava was actually a boy, significantly underweight and full of cancer. He was a very friendly rooster and will be missed.

Ava is a "peeper", our sanctuary-created term for a broiler, the type of chickens people eat. 9.2 billion Avas are slaughtered each year for consumption.

Broilers are bred to grow and grow fast. They are killed when they are only six weeks old. This fast growth rate causes severe health problems: heart attacks are very common (from obesity) as are bone and pelvic breaks.

You can help the Avas by reducing or eliminating meat from your diet.

Question by shiroii_ame: Can I raise a broiler chicken to old age if I sit it down in a little wheelchair?
I’ve heard that broiler chickens quickly become too heavy for their legs to support them and that by the time they’re slaughtered, after just a few weeks, fewer than a third of them are able to stand on their own. However, the lifespan of a chicken is about 15 years. I’m interested in raising a broiler and allowing him to die gracefully of old age (this is a farm-rescue bird) – should I put him in a little wheelchair once he gets too big to stand up, and then I can wheel him around the garden so he can sun himself?

What do you think? Answer below!

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7 Responses to Can I raise a broiler chicken to old age if I sit it down in a little wheelchair?

  1. if u want to put it in a wheel chair i suggest that its more like one of those toddlers things where the child’s weight is supported, but the child controls the movement because his feet still touch the floor.

    you’d need a pretty good material and wheels/bearings etc because a chicken isnt going to be strong enough to push itself around in a heavy one.

    however, i dont think it’ll die gracefully if it lives in a wheelchair for any period of time longer than a day. not with dignity anyway. although its just a chicken, so it doesnt exactly have dignity…

    July 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

  2. So let it die gracefully as it is. I doubt that a chicken will live if it’s weight is supported solely by sitting in any apparatus with the legs and feet dangling. I believe some weight must be in the legs and feet otherwise it will be hard to breathe.

    Charles D. M.
    July 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

  3. Broiler chickens are raised very quickly for meat. They are fed grower food so they will grow very fast and can be sold at just a few weeks old . Its been a long time since I lived on a farm but I believe it is somewhere around 8 weeks. If you get one that is standing and looks healthy you probably won’t need a wheelchair. Where on earth did you get that idea? Why don’t you rescue a battery chicken from one of those egg laying places . They are discarded when egg laying production slows down and having been kept in a tiny cage you will probably have to teach it to walk. You had better check on the laws for keeping chickens in your area as you sound like a city dweller.

    Yogi T
    July 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm

  4. You can, but it would be better to sit it in a remote control car. You can then transport it or get some other broiler chickens and start a race tournament. If it lives 15 years, then you have a lot of time to train it to control its own car, and once it’s independent, you can have time to yourself again.

    Emily Luxton
    July 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm

  5. i dont know if you can keep it till its old age, i mean they are old in 5 months, but you can feed it corn and it wont become that fat, and the wheel chair is not a good idea. leave it in a spacey and grassy area.

    vera aFa
    July 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

  6. Depends on the kind. The cornish cross or jumbo cornish cross would need the wheel chair, but probably wouldn’t live to a ripe old age anyway as they are also prone to heart disease. But the broiler breeds don’t grow as fast and don’t get as big (the breast isn’t near as big as the cornish cross) so they don’t need the wheelchair and aren’t as prone to heart disease.

    I have a couple of red broiler hens that escaped the axe a couple of years ago and my neighbor has a red broiler rooster from the same year.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm

  7. I think that is you just let it get exercise and pick at the grass and bugs,it should be alright.The birds that are raised for food do not get any exercise to speak of.,and are fed large quantities of grain to make them gain weight.

    Dances With Woofs!
    July 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm

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