Researchers at the University of Alberta have found that chickens in 2005 were almost five times larger than they were in 1957, fewer than 50 years prior.
Chickens bred for meat in 1957 weighed an average of 905 grams at 56 days. By contrast, consuming exactly the same quantity of food, chickens bred for meat in 2005 weighed an average of 4,202 grams at 56 days.
The researchers noted that “musculoskeletal, immune function, and parent stock management challenges may require additional attention in future selection programs.”
Chickens bred to grow so large so quickly can become crippled under their own weight, and suffer from cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks. The unfortunate birds used to breed “meat chickens” have their feed restricted to one-third of what they would naturally eat to prevent them from reaching their growth potential and dropping dead from their unnatural weight.
Incredibly, breeding suffering into animals’ very DNA is not prohibited or even regulated by our government.
Fortunately, compassionate plant-based food options are becoming more and more prevalent. Visit ChooseVeg.ca to get inspired.