Chicken meat query

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QIs it true that chick­ens are killed for meat at only six weeks old? We hatched some chicks this sum­mer and at six weeks they wouldn’t have been more than a mouth­ful! Also, why aren’t the cock­erels that hatch out in the egg-lay­ing farms used for meat in­stead of be­ing killed off as chicks?

AAnne Perdeaux says: Be­fore the Sec­ond World War, chicken meat was a lux­ury with tra­di­tional breeds need­ing months of feed­ing and care be­fore reach­ing a re­spectable weight. The cre­ation of hy­brids, de­signed to grow fat­ter faster, changed all that and chicken be­came a cheap source of pro­tein. Fur­ther re­fine­ments have re­sulted in chick­ens that are ready for the ta­ble only a few weeks af­ter hatch­ing. A dif­fer­ent type of hy­brid was de­vel­oped to lay eggs at a rate un­dreamt of by her an­ces­tors, but these slight birds can’t be fat­tened suc­cess­fully. Thus males are sur­plus to re­quire­ments, and un­til tech­nol­ogy finds a way of pro­duc­ing only hens, cock­erels will con­tinue to be despatched on hatch­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.