When I’m requested by mates what I do for dwelling, I have a tendency to boost eyebrows as a result of my job is considerably odd to many metropolis individuals. That’s as a result of I’m a poultry nutritionist.
Sometimes, the dialog turns right into a pleasant debate on the myths round consuming rooster. Can we feed rooster hormones? Are any chickens genetically engineered? Do free vary chickens style higher? And so forth.
So to save lots of everybody a while, listed here are a number of the most typical questions I get requested, and the solutions I give.
1) Do you have to purchase hormone-free rooster?
The reality is that no chickens or eggs produced in Australia include added hormones, they usually haven’t been given hormones for many years.
Impartial exams by the Division of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, as a part of the Nationwide Residue Survey, affirm that Australian rooster meat is freed from added hormones.
Not that it could be straightforward to provide them hormones anyway. Progress hormones are proteins just like insulin used to deal with diabetes.
Like insulin, they’ll solely be injected into the physique as a result of they’re damaged down within the digestive tract. Subsequently, it’s pointless to supply chickens development hormones of their meals as a result of they might be rendered ineffective.
And given a typical business shed might accommodate 40,000 to 60,000 birds per shed, it’s merely logistically not possible to inject hormones into every rooster.
2) Are meat chickens genetically modified to develop quick?
Our chickens will not be genetically modified, and their genes haven’t been altered artificially. Fashionable meat chickens develop extra shortly and are extra “meaty” than rooster breeds out there a long time in the past attributable to selective breeding and optimum diet.
Similar to pedigree canine breeders breed their puppies for desired traits, selective breeding entails these animals that present the fascinating traits being chosen because the mother and father for the subsequent technology within the breeding program, and this course of being repeated over many generations.
Within the Nineteen Sixties, the aim of selective breeding in meat chickens was merely elevated development fee and elevated meat manufacturing. These days, the main focus has modified from development and yield to a broad spectrum of outcomes, with a transparent emphasis on bettering animal welfare, replica and general health.
3) Are meat chickens raised in cages?
All business meat chickens are stored in massive poultry sheds on litter flooring, lined with issues like rice hulls or wooden shavings. They aren’t stored in cages.
Moreover, some meat chickens even have entry to the outside, corresponding to these sometimes called both free-range or natural. A easy comparability is proven beneath.
4) Are free vary chickens more healthy?
Not all the time. In reality, free vary chickens usually tend to catch ailments, get injured and die sooner than these stored inside.
Within the UK, free vary egg layers have a mortality fee of 8-10%, which is way greater than caged hens’ loss of life fee of 2-4%.
The contact between free vary chickens and wild birds additionally will increase the chance of spreading chook flu. And birds can die from over-consuming grass.
Cannibalism can even occur in egg layers and it’s a massive problem totally free vary egg manufacturing techniques specifically.
We all the time assume animals behave in a civilised method. However the truth is free vary layer hens might peck one another to loss of life. Cannibalism in poultry is a part of their pure behaviour and, sadly, it has confirmed tough to eliminate.
5) Do free vary or natural chickens style higher?
There’s little or no knowledge supporting the concept free vary or natural chickens truly style higher than conventionally farmed ones.
Industrial meat chickens don’t have a tendency to love operating round, as they had been chosen to maximise their development. So it’s a fable that extra train makes rooster meat extra tender.
6) Why are some meat chickens yellow in color?
In some cultures, chickens with yellow fats and pores and skin are thought-about to be higher high quality. Nevertheless, this isn’t true.
The yellowness of the pores and skin, fats and egg yolk will depend on the extent of beta carotene within the diets. So these yellow chickens are fed with a corn-based weight loss program, which is greater in beta carotene.
7) Are meat and egg laying chickens the identical breed?
The meat and egg industries have completely different necessities, and use completely different breeds of chook.
The one eggs produced within the meat trade are these wanted to provide the subsequent technology of chickens.
Ross and Cobb birds are the 2 widespread business breeds chosen for meat manufacturing.
The egg trade homes their hens fairly in a different way and makes use of very completely different breeds of chickens, that are bred selectively over many generations to exhibit optimum egg producing traits.
The widespread breeds of laying hens in Australia are the Hyline Brown and the Isa Brown.
8) Why are some eggs white and others brown?
The color of eggshells is the results of pigments being deposited throughout egg formation. The kind of pigment relies upon upon the breed and is genetically decided.
To get a touch concerning the egg color, have a look at the color of the rooster’s ear lobes!
Apparently, individuals have robust preferences for various egg shell colors in numerous markets. In Australia and elements of Asia, brown eggs are most well-liked, whereas within the US and Japan, individuals favor white eggs.
The dietary worth of the egg solely will depend on the chickens’ weight loss program, not the system of manufacturing or the color of the egg shell.
For instance, it has been proven that vitamin D-enhanced eggs might be produced if the weight loss program is supplemented with excessive stage of an lively type of vitamin D.
9) What varieties of chickens do eating places use?
It’s usually tough to inform.
Quick meals chains are extra seemingly to make use of chickens produced conventionally until specifically labelled. Eating places differ within the chickens they use. If you happen to favor a selected sort of rooster, you’ll want to ask earlier than you order.
10) Does Australia import chickens from elsewhere?
All of the uncooked rooster meat out there in Australia is grown in Australia.
In accordance with Australian Hen Meat Federation, we consumed 45.3kg of rooster meat per particular person in 2015, which implies 870 grams of rooster meat per week.
Final 12 months, greater than 1.1 million tonnes of rooster meat was produced in Australia and nearly all of it was consumed right here.
The declare “produced in Australia” is relevant to nearly all rooster meat offered in Australia with solely very small portions of cooked rooster meat being imported from New Zealand and a few canned merchandise containing rooster additionally doubtlessly imported.
Sonia can be on-line for an Creator Q&A between 1:30 and a couple of:30 on Wednesday, 27 July, 2016. Submit any questions you might have within the feedback beneath.
NOTE: The phrase “happier” was faraway from query quantity 4 as the reply focuses solely on the well being of the chickens.
Dr Liu receives funding from a number of sources together with Rural Industries R&D Company Hen Meat Program. This system is funded by statutory levies paid by trade individuals. Different sources embody broiler integrators and suppliers of feed components together with enzymes and amino acids.