Ha'aretz reports on chicken-raising in Israel:
Arik Ben Moshe, chief nutritionist at the Amir-Dagan feed mill, said the source of protein in the chicken feed is grains, feathers, and sterilized meal mead from bodies of chicken, fish and meat. After the outbreak of mad cow disease, these meals were prohibited for use in cow feed, but are still permitted in chicken feed.
The Agriculture Ministry says the use of preventive antibiotics is prohibited, and they may only be used to treat disease, with veterinary authorization.
However, at many feed mills small doses of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) are added to the meal. "AGPs are used at all feed mills, for all feeds," says Ben Moshe.
A week before slaughtering, the chickens receive a different, antibiotic-free feed, so that its residue will not be detected by tests, and won't reach the consumer.
When they are 42 days old, the chickens are crammed into small transport containers and taken to the slaughterhouse. An Agriculture Ministry-appointed committee recommended in 2001 that the transport process be regulated because this phase is "particularly traumatic." The committee recommended minimizing the waiting time for transport, giving the chickens access to food and water while waiting, and prohibiting seizing them by the head, neck, wing or tail. The ministry has not yet approved the regulations.
Note that unnecessary cruelty, like depriving chickens of food and water while being transported to slaughter, is still not illegal in Israel. More importantly, this clear violation of biblical law is not protested by the rabbis – which is another reason not to take today's halakhic process seriously.