New Investigation Reveals Costco Chickens Suffering from Open Wounds

Mercy For Animals’ new investigation into a Costco supplier reveals tens of thousands of chickens crammed into filthy sheds and bred to grow so large so fast that their legs cannot support their weight. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof broke the story in his weekly column. The cruel practices seen in the footage stand in stark contrast to Costco’s claim that animal welfare is a “critical component that has been integrated into all aspects of the chicken supply chain.”

Seen enough? Costco needs to hear from you today. Tell Costco to end this extreme cruelty.

This shocking footage was captured at a farm that supplies Lincoln Premium Poultry, the company set up and controlled by Costco to supply itself with many of the 100 million rotisserie chickens it sells a year. This means that Costco has the power to implement meaningful animal welfare requirements for these farms.

At the farm, our undercover investigator documented animals forced to live for weeks in their own waste. Chickens raised for Costco are also bred to grow so large so fast that they often cannot support their weight. Birds struggle to walk, and many die from organ failure.

In addition to the terrible living conditions, the investigator witnessed countless birds with open wounds, broken bones, and twisted necks and beaks.

Many of these animals endured short lives of chronic pain before succumbing to their ailments. Large piles of dead, rotting animals lay on the facility’s grounds outside the barns housing live chickens.

These images are shocking, but with your support change is possible. Caring people everywhere are now calling on Costco to take action.

Chickens are intelligent, sensitive individuals who deserve so much better. Mercy For Animals supporters have helped urge many major food companies to reduce chicken suffering. Thanks to their efforts, more than 200 companies—including Whole Foods Market, Popeyes, Burger King, and Subway—have already committed to eliminating the worst forms of cruelty in their supply chains. Mercy For Animals president Leah Garcés stated:

Costco members deserve to know the truth about where their chickens come from and how Costco is failing to live up to the animal welfare standards members expect and the company claims to support.

Costco has a responsibility to establish meaningful welfare guidelines for the chickens it sells and to prevent horrific suffering caused by rapid growth, filthy living conditions, and unnatural environments. And you have the power to inspire the company to act. Costco cares about what customers think, which is why it’s critical that they hear from you today.

Visit and urge Costco to do better for chickens.

You can also make the world a kinder place for animals by adding more plant-based foods to your routine. Download our free Vegetarian Starter Guide to learn how.