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The Future of Farming Is Brain-Dead Chickens?

By Andrew Tarantola on at

The poultry industry routinely takes heat for the densely-crowded conditions birds are subjected to. But what if the animals didn't feel pain or suffer stress? One student thinks he has the solution—raise chickens like vegetables by lobotomising the lot of them.

Architecture student André Ford has presented a very radical solution to increase the efficiency and humaneness in raising poultry. Under his plan, birds would have their frontal cortexes surgically severed, rendering the animals permanently unconscious with no zero sensory input while maintaining their lower brain functions—breathing and such—so that the animals continue to grow.

The form and function of a chicken plant would change drastically as well. The birds would be suspended and immobilised from hanging racks. Their feet would be removed (not going to be doing much walking in their state) and the animals would receive nutrients through a tube, while a second tube removes waste—Matrix-style. The birds could effectively be stacked—quadrupling the density of chickens from one every 10 square feet to four—to grow until they're large enough to be harvested.

"Harvested" is an oddly applicable phrase for what this method would entail. The birds are effectively reduced to being fleshy vegetables that just sit there until picked. But that can't be any worse than their current living conditions, right?

So far, this is still simply an art project dubbed The Headless Chicken Solution at the Royal Collage of Art. But it could well be a glimpse into the future of industrial-scale farming. [Inhabitat via DVice]