The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has weighed in on the topic of “kaparot” with chicken. While the rabbinate expressed support for the use of chicken in principle, it warned Jews to ensure that the animals are treated properly.
The kaparot ritual is traditionally performed in the days before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. When a chicken is used, the ritual involves circling the chicken over one’s head while saying a prayer that symbolically transfer’s ones sins to the bird. The chicken is then slaughtered, and its meat put to use, most commonly as a donation to the poor.