Have you ever wondered how many chickens die each day, whether due to natural causes or for human consumption?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: On average, approximately 300 million chickens die each day worldwide.

In this article, we will take a closer look at poultry mortality rates, including the causes of death, the impact of the poultry industry, and what can be done to reduce mortality rates.

Whether you’re a chicken farmer, a consumer, or simply curious about the topic, this article will provide valuable insights into the world of poultry mortality.

Understanding Poultry Mortality Rates

As a scientist who works in the field of agriculture, I often get asked questions about the mortality rates of poultry. Chickens are one of the most common types of poultry raised for meat and eggs, and understanding their mortality rates is crucial for farmers and consumers alike. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at the various factors that contribute to poultry mortality rates.

Natural Causes of Poultry Mortality

Just like any other living being, chickens are susceptible to natural causes of death. These can include diseases, parasites, and genetic disorders. In addition, extreme weather conditions such as extreme heat or cold can also lead to increased mortality rates among poultry.

To reduce the impact of natural causes of mortality, farmers can take steps to improve the overall health of their flock. This can include providing a clean and safe living environment, regular veterinary check-ups, and a healthy diet.

Human-Related Causes of Poultry Mortality

Unfortunately, a significant portion of poultry mortality is caused by human-related factors. These can include inadequate housing conditions, poor nutrition, and improper handling during transportation and processing.

The use of antibiotics and other chemicals in poultry farming can also contribute to increased mortality rates. In addition, overcrowding and stress can weaken the immune system of chickens, making them more susceptible to disease and death.

Global Poultry Mortality Rates

The mortality rates of poultry vary widely depending on the region and farming practices. In developed countries, where strict regulations are in place, mortality rates tend to be lower. However, in developing countries, where regulations are often less stringent, mortality rates can be much higher.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the average mortality rate for chickens in developing countries is around 5-10%, while in developed countries, it is around 2-5%. However, it is important to note that mortality rates can vary widely depending on the specific farming practices and conditions.

Developed Countries Developing Countries
Mortality Rate 2-5% 5-10%

The Impact of the Poultry Industry on Mortality Rates

The poultry industry is a major contributor to the global food supply, providing a significant source of protein for millions of people around the world. However, the industry has come under scrutiny in recent years due to concerns over its impact on animal welfare and the environment.

Factory Farming and High Mortality Rates

One of the main criticisms of the poultry industry is its reliance on factory farming methods, which often involve keeping large numbers of birds in cramped and unsanitary conditions. This can lead to high mortality rates, as the birds are more susceptible to disease and stress.

According to a report by the World Animal Protection organization, up to 6 billion chickens are raised for meat in factory farms each year, with up to 50% of them dying before slaughter due to poor living conditions and stress-related factors.

These high mortality rates not only raise ethical concerns about animal welfare, but also have economic implications for farmers and the industry as a whole.

Sustainability and Animal Welfare Concerns

In addition to concerns over animal welfare, the poultry industry also faces challenges in terms of sustainability and environmental impact. Factory farming methods require large amounts of resources, including water, feed, and energy, which can have negative effects on the environment.

Moreover, the use of antibiotics in poultry farming has been linked to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can pose a threat to human health.

As consumers become increasingly aware of these issues, there is a growing demand for more sustainable and ethical alternatives to conventional poultry farming.

Alternatives to Conventional Poultry Farming

One alternative to factory farming is free-range poultry farming, which allows birds to roam freely and engage in natural behaviors. This can lead to improved animal welfare and lower mortality rates, although it may also result in higher production costs.

Another option is plant-based meat substitutes, which are becoming increasingly popular as consumers look for more sustainable and ethical sources of protein. These products are made from plant-based ingredients and can mimic the taste and texture of real meat, without the negative environmental and ethical implications of conventional meat production.

Ultimately, the poultry industry must balance the need to meet global demand for protein with concerns over animal welfare, sustainability, and environmental impact. By exploring alternative farming methods and embracing innovation, the industry can work towards a more sustainable and ethical future.

Reducing Poultry Mortality Rates

Poultry mortality rates are a concern for farmers and consumers alike. While the exact number of chickens that die each day can vary depending on the region and farming practices, it is clear that steps can be taken to reduce mortality rates.

  • Improved Breeding Practices: One way to reduce mortality rates is through improved breeding practices. By selecting breeding stock with desirable traits such as disease resistance and strong immune systems, farmers can produce healthier chickens that are less likely to die.
  • Better Nutrition and Health Care: Providing chickens with a balanced diet and access to clean water can go a long way in reducing mortality rates. Additionally, regular health checks and prompt treatment of any illnesses can prevent the spread of disease and further mortality.
  • Reducing Stress and Overcrowding: Chickens that are overcrowded or exposed to high levels of stress are more susceptible to illness and death. By providing adequate space and reducing stressors such as excessive noise or handling, mortality rates can be reduced.
  • Humane Slaughter Practices: While not directly related to mortality rates during farming, using humane slaughter practices can ensure that chickens are not subjected to unnecessary suffering and stress during the final stages of their lives.

By implementing these practices, farmers can reduce poultry mortality rates and produce healthier, more sustainable chicken products for consumers. For more information on poultry farming practices, visit Poultry Hub.


In conclusion, poultry mortality rates are a complex issue with both natural and human-related causes. The poultry industry has a significant impact on mortality rates, with factory farming practices contributing to high rates of mortality and animal welfare concerns.

However, there are alternatives to conventional poultry farming that prioritize sustainability and animal welfare, and there are steps that can be taken to reduce mortality rates, such as improved breeding practices and better nutrition and health care.

By understanding the factors that contribute to poultry mortality rates and taking action to address them, we can work towards a more humane and sustainable food system.

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