How is a full chicken so cheap?


I know economies of scale and battery farms and stuff but I can’t reasonably work out how you can hatch, raise, feed, kill prepare and ship a chicken and have it end up in a supermarket as a whole chicken for €4. Let alone the farmers and the supermarkets share. Someone please explain.

In: 536

They take a loss to get you in the store. This is at least the Costco way. They want you to walk all the way back of the store to the deli, while impulse shopping along the way. Come in for a 5$ chicken, go out with $300 worth of stuff. Source: ME! Costco deli employee for five years.

They’re cheap because they grow quickly and eat relatively cheaply. Chickens can be market-ready in ~~2-3 months~~ an average of 42 days in the EU, and 48 in the U.S. (to name two regional markets).

[edit] Edits thanks to u/fiendishrabbit for the clarification to my initial post.

The farms are mechanised and automated. The cost of a chicken for a large established institution is some electricity, 15-20 kg of feed and very little labor. The feed is mostly grain byproducts that aren’t good for much else.

Short answer, animal abuse. These chickens don’t live nice lives, need to get their beaks clipped because they are kept in too small cages so they attack each other. Their legs don’t hold their massive weight so they collapse and can’t even stand up. It’s industrial meat.

Subsidies on feed, cheap standardized processing, conmodification of a live individual, authorised cruelty