Touch the Soil News #475
We’ve all heard the horror stories of chickens fed antibiotics as a way to accelerate weight gain. Then there are the stories of how breeding has created chickens so fat that they have problems just walking. Bloomberg News reported recently that U.S. chickens raised for meat today weigh 6.24 pounds – almost doubling since 1955 and more than tripling since 1925.
Large broiler producers are finding that there is a correlation between fat chickens and what is called “woody breast.” Woody breast is a condition that describes the hard texture that is now frequently being found in factory raised (fat chickens) chicken breasts.
Modern broiler chicken farms maintain chickens intended for the dinner table in crowded conditions. They are fed antibiotics that aid weight gain and come from weight-gain genetics that leaves them so plump that walking can be problematic.
One company, Sanderson Farms, Inc. reported that as much as 5 percent of the boneless breast meat at the company’s big bird deboning plants had woody texture. Woody breasts are not considered unsafe or less tasty. While there is talk that the woody breast condition is a result of decades of favoring genetics for weight gain, the actual cause is still uncertain.
Following is a short video clip on woody breasts: