What’s the difference between a factory farm turkey and a Certified Humane® turkey?

turkey_photoWith Thanksgiving just around the corner, we wanted to explain the difference between a turkey raised in a factory farm and a turkey raised Certified Humane®.

In factory farms, turkeys are so overcrowded, they often climb onto each other’s backs to get away from each other. Their talons tear into each other, causing pain and severe distress. Factory farms amputate the birds’ toes to keep them from doing this to each other. 

Certified Humane’s strict standards don’t allow for turkey toe amputation. Instead, we require sufficient space to support the bird’s natural behaviors, such as flapping wings and moving around freely. Certified Humane® turkeys also must receive environmental enrichments, like bales of straw or hay, so they can perch above ground at night.

In factory farms, high-ammonia levels cause blindness for the birds.   

Certified Humane turkeys raised in barns have strict air quality and air testing requirements.

In factory farms, birds are often exposed to continual light or routine darkness, which impacts how they eat, how they grow, and how they get along with other turkeys.

Certified Humane® turkeys must receive a minimum of 8 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness every day to maintain their natural life-cycles.

Currently, only a few turkey producers in the U.S. meet the Certified Humane® label standards of care for their whole bird turkey products. That’s because few turkey producers are willing to meet our strict Animal Care Standards.

But you can make a difference for turkeys this Thanksgiving.

First, look for the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label when you shop. To find stores that sell Certified Humane® turkeys and other products, visit Certified Humane’s “Where to Buy” page at www.certifiedhumane.org or download our free Certified Humane® App.

Second, pressure turkey producers to meet higher welfare standards. The goal of the Certified Humane® program is to improve the lives of farm animals by driving consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices. Please visit our Take Action page and take the Turkey Request Form to your local grocery stores.   

Finally, please support Certified Humane®. Your donation today will help us educate farmers, conduct farm inspections, and guarantee that millions of farm animals will receive humane treatment throughout their entire lives.