How to raise broiler chickens 400% in 50 years?
In the beginning, the goal was to make a chicken that has thick, fresh thighs and breasts, several layers of meat, so that the whole family can be satisfied and eat at the lowest possible price.
At the end of World War II in 1946, the US government, together with a company, organized a competition that changed the global poultry industry forever.
Entitled ‘Chicken of Tomorrow’, the competition encouraged farmers and livestock breeders across the United States to genetically select a broiler chicken with the potential for rapid growth. As well as the best quality meat.
Richard Thomas, a bird archaeologist at the University of Leicester in the UK, told the BBC’s Mando Service: I could be slaughtered. ‘
This was in fact an attempt to meet the growing demand for protein in the country as a result of the current birth rate (Birth Bloom). In addition, the war made it difficult for goats and beef to reach the front lines.
But at that time, the hen was considered a weak animal, reared mostly for eggs, and it took about four months to grow.
However, according to a 2014 study by the University of Alberta, the average volume of broiler chickens has increased by 400% in just over half a century.
Martin Zyudov, one of the study’s authors, confirmed that what happened in the competition had a direct effect on poultry development.
“The US government’s dream was to have a chicken in every pot, and everyone would be happy,” he told Animal Science. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “
Professor Thomas told the BBC’s Mendoza: “It was in the 1940’s that the first broiler chickens were born with this competition.”
“Before the competition, this animal could be slaughtered in four months, but now this period has reached the ‘ideal’ limit of four or five weeks,” said Zyudov.
According to an article published in The Economist, the price of chicken fell by 47% between 1960 and 2019.