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In three hard-hitting programs, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall explores the horrors of intensive chicken farming. The journey takes him far from the cosy lifestyle of River Cottage and into the harrowing conditions of running his own modern poultry production line. Hugh plans to kick start a chicken revolution in the UK. He wants to replace the cheap chickens sold by supermarkets at less than a price of a pint of beer for ethically reared free-range chicken. After the salmonella crisis of the 1980s, the UK willingly embraced free range eggs. Can the same now be done for the broiler chickens raised for their meat? The chicken revolution begins in the town of Axminster and its local Tesco, where the residents of the local Millway estate face the challenge of rearing free range birds while nearby Hugh's new factory churns out its horrors.
His plan is that for one week, more than 50% of chicken bought and consumed in Axminster is free range. That includes curry houses and burger bars, ready made sandwiches and pub lunches. At the moment, less than 5% of the chicken sold in the UK is free range so it's a major undertaking. But can the well-meaning plan of a celebrity chef survive the sceptical locals and the interests of the big supermarkets? How will ordinary people respond to lectures on animal welfare from the posh bloke off the telly? And what happens when the rumour goes around town that Hugh is only raising awareness to boost sales of chicken in his own shop? The true and terrible cost of the cheap chicken on your plate is revealed in Hugh's Chicken Run. You will never look at roast chicken in the same way again.