February 12, 2008
Broiler chicken breeding practices do not stand up to scrutiny
According to a new study conducted by British researchers, broiler chickens bred for “fast growth” have been shown to exhibit difficulty walking, despite culling practices that were designed to remove severely lame birds from flocks. The researchers concluded that a debate on the sustainability of these breeding practices is urgently required. As a Science Daily article reported:
Dr. Toby Knowles of Bristol University's Division of Food Animal Science and colleagues assessed the walking ability of 51,000 chickens within 176 flocks. They also obtained information on approximately 150 different management factors associated with each flock.
The study found that at an average age of 40 days, over 27.6 per cent of birds showed poor locomotion and 3.3 per cent were almost unable to walk.
Dr Knowles said: "Broiler chickens have been subjected to intense genetic selection. In the past 50 years, broiler growth rates have increased by over 300 per cent from 25 g per day to 100 g per day.
Link to the study at PLoS ONE, an online research publication.
Thank you to William Mitchell College of Law student Ben Loetscher for preparing this post.
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Central Valley. Water "shortage" or water "re-routing?!?" See below:
Posted by: Marla | Jun 11, 2008 2:22:53 PM
27.6 per cent of birds is quite a lot!!
Posted by: Luke smith | Nov 6, 2008 8:18:12 AM
what happens when you breed different breeds of chickens? like what would happen if you put two or more different breeds in the same pen?
Posted by: jessica | Apr 19, 2009 9:25:23 AM