I believe the holding pens are pretty much like the cattle pens. A whole bunch of animals crammed in until they're filed in to be butchered.
I also heard somewhere that a lot are sent to feedlots to be fattened before slaughter...?
I'm also not against slaughter and apposed the closing down of US plants. I do agree that animals should be treated more humanely (thats ALL animals) and that the industry should be MUCH better regulated. Those 'free range' eggs you pay so much for? The chickens have some perches and are stuffed by the thousands into huge warehouses. Thats 'free range'. I buy true, brown, free-ranged eggs for a buck a dozen.
The slaughter industry wants to make a profit. Each animal produces profit. So the more animals you can stuff into a double decker or into a pen, the bigger profit you achieve. The quicker you slaughter these animals, the quicker the profit.
This is why we have issues with mad cow, E-Coli, and horror stories of frozen pigs in double decker trucks. The workers are told to go FASTER FASTER FASTER and so corners are cut and the animals face the consequences. IF they survive their pumped full of god knows what to grow FASTER FASTER FASTER. Then their pushed through as quickly as possible in order to make that oh-so-fast profit.
Also, those videos where the animals kick and jerk? Their brain dead, those are death spasms. It always annoys me to hear people complain about how the animal is still aware after being punched through the head with a huge steel bolt. Let me repeat, a huge steel bolt that penetrated the skull and punctured the frontal area of the brain
And I quote, from Dr. Grandin: "A captive bolt stunning gun kills the animal and reduces it instantly unconscious without causing pain."
Good sites to check out: CHAPTER 7: Slaughter of livestock Temple Grandin's Web Page