Chicken Out!

Around 90% of UK chickens are reared for meat in standard intensive systems. This chicken is usually the cheapest on the supermarket shelf and the meat found in most sandwiches and restaurant meals.

These chickens are farmed in barren and crowded sheds with no outdoor access, no natural daylight and little room to move freely.

These birds have been selectively bred to reach slaughter weight in around six weeks, these unnaturally fast growth rates result in millions of chickens suffering from painful leg disorders, breathing disabilities, ammonia burns and dying of lung or heart failure.

Through the Chicken Out! campaign, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Compassion in World Farming are reaching out to consumers, politicians, producers and retailers to put an end to the intensive ‘factory’ farming of chickens.

Chicken Out! is changing the way we shop


More and more consumers are voting with their basket and choosing chicken meat from higher welfare systems. When you’re shopping for chicken, always look for chicken labelled free-range, organic, RSPCA Freedom Food or higher welfare indoor.

Chicken Out! wants clear and honest labelling


Labelling can be very misleading and phrases such as ‘farm fresh’ and ‘farm assured’ do not always represent higher welfare systems.

Unless the label states free-range, organic or RSPCA Freedom Food, the chicken you’re buying has probably been reared in intensive conditions.

We want clear information on the packaging of the chicken meat so you can make the best, informed choice.

Chicken Out! is reaching the government

We want the government to take the welfare of chickens seriously by introducing legislation that meets the behavioural needs of the millions of chickens.

Over 270 MPs recently signed a Parliamentary motion calling for improved welfare standards and clear labelling of chicken meat.

"I launched the national Chicken Out! campaign because I feel so strongly about the welfare of our chickens," said Hugh.

"My River Cottage TV series on Channel 4 has highlighted the unacceptable conditions in which most table birds are reared and I’m putting pressure on the UK industry to raise their standards," he added.

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  • @anneHuscroft1 so lovely to hear, thanks Anne! Any plans to come back to the farm soon?
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  • And of course we couldn't let Hugh go without a birthday cake #50yearsofHugh #AskHugh link
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  • Thank you, its been great chatting! Have to dash, making a birthday cake for a fellow 50-year-old. Chocolate + hazelnut, pg 374! #askHugh
  • .@Eco_Gite It spreads like mad so not in the veg patch, better in a big pot, but it does take nearly a year to produce good sized roots.
  • . @Lou_la_may Default topping is a sprinkling of soft brown sugar but a trickle of runny honey is also great. #askHugh
  • .@trishaocf Could be your choice of flour or that your sd starter needs a feed up, take a good tblsp, feed it for a few days & start again.
  • . @bookslinger always lovely to hear that people are cooking from my books and enjoying the results! #askHugh
  • .@harrycornwall Cider is a good choice, I would choose a fairly dry one as the onions are quite sweet #AskHugh
  • . @_DjTC_ soon! Early Feb is good, provided you can keep them frost-free. A sunny window is good. #askHugh
  • .@IantheCW I'm all over the roots right now, big trays of them roasted and finished with a sprinkling of toasted seeds and spices #AskHugh
  • . @ACoSfChildren but it's so flat! Actually I do have a soft spot for Norfolk and it's been a while so who knows. #askHugh
  • .@rojob1 Yes, series 3 coming your way very soon and as ever Paul champions the sustainable approach to fish, veg and meat #AskHugh
  • . @missaniela really sorry but I'm not around for that one. I will be here for the Spring Food Fair in May... #askHugh
  • .@pupspigspoulets We said goodbye to our Oxford Sandy & Blacks before Christmas, they were fab! We like ringing the changes though. #AskHugh
  • . @bookslinger It's always a treat to be given other people's goodies. Of course I try them! #askHugh
  • .@GrowandEat That's a tough one to comment on without knowing the whole picture.
  • . @MyrtlesGarden there's a lovely potato gnocchi recipe in RC Veg and you could swap a GF flour in for the wheat flour. #askHugh
  • .@pickleshlee A good way to deliver vitamins and fibre but not to be drunk by the gallon as they are often quite high in sugar #AskHugh
  • . @AmberLofts523 that's better than a birthday suit! #askHugh
  • . @NellieRBean once it's all mixed up you should keep in the fridge and eat within two days #askHugh
  • .@acornwoodcraft I like dual purpose varieties eg Light Sussex Dumpies & Road Island Reds, but Hubbards are good free range modern meat bird
  • . @EmzJ_Smith It's a great campaign, we should be eating this lovely stuff. Let's hope supermarkets get the message @jamieoliver #askHugh
  • .@dikparkes I'll be back in the Autumn with a brand new series - something a bit different too! #AskHugh
  • . @beanbrackets That sounds like my dear Uncle Will - an outstanding gardener and all round top bloke. #askHugh
  • .@petermartindk Grow vertically to max returns. E.G. Climbing peas & beans, plus herbs you like best, thyme, sage and Rosemary are my favs.
  • . @Cooked_UK There are lots I hope. Check out the salad section for some zingy and elegant #lightandeasy starters. #askHugh
  • .@bantam1977 I would love to do that but the place would have to be just right, who knows it could happen one day.
  • . @AmberLofts523 yes, look cool and hang loose. That's what @martinharley will be doing. #askHugh
  • .@POverb Of course, a whole bulging chapter of them pgs 14-60 River Cottage Light & Easy
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