Report

Big Chicken: Pollution and Industrial Poultry Production in America

Broiler chickens (raised for their meat) are produced by the millions in industrial facilities concentrated in just a handful of states, and much of the waste they produce ends up polluting the nation's waterways. These are just two issues highlighted in Pew's new report “Big Chicken: Pollution and Industrial Poultry Production in America” (PDF).

“In just over 50 years, the broiler industry has been transformed from more than one million small farms spread across the country to a  limited number of massive factory-style operations concentrated in 15 states,” said Karen Steuer, who directs Pew's efforts to reform industrial animal agriculture. “This growth has harmed the environment, particularly water, because management programs for chicken waste have not kept pace with output.”