New Undercover Investigation Exposes Cruel Conditions for Costco Chickens


Last weekend, Mercy For Animals released a new investigation into a farm that supplies Costco with its famously cheap chicken.

A Mercy For Animals investigator captured disturbing footage at a Nebraska farm that supplies Lincoln Premium Poultry, the company Costco set up and controls to supply itself with many of the 100 million rotisserie chickens it sells each year.  

The footage reveals shocking cruelty:

  • Chickens bred to grow so large so fast they cannot support their weight and often die from organ failure.
  • Hundreds of thousands of birds crammed in filthy sheds, living for weeks in their own waste.
  • Injured and ill chicks, some with internal organs exposed and others unable to walk.
  • Countless birds suffering from open wounds, ammonia burns, broken bones, and twisted necks and beaks.
  • Large piles of dead animals on facility grounds outside the barns housing live chickens.

The cruel practices revealed 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, from the hatchery to the grower barns to the processing facility.”

The investigation video is viewable at

“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,” said Mercy For Animals’ president, Leah Garcés. “While we cannot change the outcome for the chickens suffering in this shameful footage, Costco has control over millions of animals’ lives and can take immediate action by adopting the Better Chicken Commitment, a set of higher welfare standards that would ban the cruel practices uncovered by this investigation.”

By adopting the Better Chicken Commitment, Costco can establish meaningful welfare guidelines for its chicken farms and prevent horrific suffering caused by rapid growth, filthy living conditions, and unnatural environments. Since 2016, Mercy For Animals has assisted food companies in improving their broiler chicken welfare standards. More than 200 companies have already adopted Better Chicken Commitment standards, including Whole Foods Market, Popeyes, Burger King, and Subway.

The investigation video and petition calling on Costco to adopt the Better Chicken Commitment are available at

Featured image: a chicken at a factory farm in Australia. Image credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals.

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