With thousands of chickens consumed daily, how does the poultry industry keep up with the demand?
In the United States alone, more than seven billion chickens are killed for consumption each year.The agriculture industry is using scientific techniques for years to supply the needs of consumers. The selective breeding of chicken has been attached with cruel experiments in the modern times.
In the ancient times, a hen would hatch 24 eggs annually. But through the science of genetically modifying chickens, they could lay up to 250 eggs per year. Almost ten times more!
These types of chickens are called broilers. They are bred and raised for meat production.
Since the 1950s, the decade of baby boomers, the increase demand of food supply became the reason to experiment chickens for quick meat production, breast meat in particular. The weight of chicken almost doubled from 60 years ago. Their breasts also increased by 80 percent. From the usual 15 weeks, a chicken now only takes six weeks to be fully grown up.
Problems with Genetically Modified Chickens
These scientific techniques are resulting to health problems and cruelty. Almost 50,000 chickens were found to have impaired locomotion capabilities that resulted to lameness.
Their difficulty in walking is due to their large breasts, which results to the imbalance of their bodies. A degenerative bone disease is an added reason for their lameness.
The rapid weight gain that these broiler chickens are experiencing is one of the reasons for breeders to restrict their food intake with almost half of food intake of the normal chickens. These broilers suffer from state of hunger.