Do you believe in there's no hormone used in poultry production despite fast growing chicken today? There's been a lot of confusion and misunderstanding on the usage of hormone in poultry production. Let's debunk the myth together in Part II of Hormone Injected Chicken.
#Myth: Is There Any Growth Hormone/Vaccine/Antibiotic Injected? Why?
a. NONE of our broiler chickens we eat today have received growth hormones.
b. However, many will ask – why are chickens getting heavier now in a short span of time?
c. This is mainly due to
Superior genetics - crème de la crème!
Broiler chickens, which are chickens raised for meat, benefit from a natural process of selection and crossbreeding. Birds with the desirable qualities, in terms of growth and performance, will have the upper hand. Therefore, the chickens we see today are actually a product of repeated selection and trials done by primary breeder companies. For instance, the photo as shown above, is a comparison between 1950’s broiler bird vs modern broiler birds that we see today, at the same age. This is a proof of how far we have come in terms of improvement in genetic selection.
Nutritional requirement of birds are being met
To optimize growth and performance of our broiler birds, we put our hearts into the smallest details of feed formulation and production. For example, there are many researches being done in the field, all with one goal in mind. Which is to find the best feed recipe that is cost effective, and yet is able to support and maximize the growth potential of our broiler birds. Just like humans, broiler birds require balanced and sufficient energy, protein, vitamins and minerals for the best growth.
Conducive environment for growth
The truth is that broiler chickens are like human babies. They require meticulous care and are sensitive to the slightest change in the environment. Hence, farmers have to be attentive in details to support huge strides of chickens’ growth in this short span of time. Aspects that we need to focus on include – the correct feed, the right temperature, ventilation and air quality, the proper water quality and so on.
Therefore, try imagining this – if it took the farmer 3 weeks to notice a flaw in one of the aforementioned aspects, it may be too late for any corrective actions. Because 60% (21 days/35 days*100) of the bird’s life has flew passed! Every minute counts in broiler production. Believe me when I say our farmers put their best into producing the chickens on our table! Literally, blood, sweat, and tears. All in all, our broiler industry is getting more and more sophisticated, to help raise larger and healthier birds, for you, as food on table.
Is there any vaccine/antibiotic injected?
In farms, it is not common for farmers to inject vaccines or antibiotics into broiler birds. This is due to the fact that a chicken coop houses thousands and thousands of birds. Considering the meticulousness in chicken rearing, the farmers just do not have the time to inject every single birds. This will be too labor intensive. Moreover, it is not cost effective at all.
However, farmers do in fact provide drinking water vaccines or antibiotics. More often than not the main aim is to keep chickens healthy in farms if they are sick. This prevents animals from suffering, and reducing the chances of bacteria entering the food chain. I am not advocating for the use of antibiotics. On the other hand, I believe the key is prudent use of antibiotics instead – something that we are working towards now in our industry.
Try imagining farming without any vaccines and antibiotics. Definitely all these sound amazing and ideal. But this approach comes at a cost. Sick birds take a longer time to grow, while we have to struggle to meet growing nutritional demands of our people. Sick birds have a larger environmental impact while heathy ones use fewer natural resources.
Balance is always the key.
Source: American Association of Avian Pathologists, Inc.
#Myth: What is the Duration for Chickens to Grow from Egg to Consumables?
Depending on the desired weight. Generally 28 days to 35 days. (2.2kg at D30-33 days).
A study was conducted by The University of Georgia with the aim to compare the vast difference of growth rate between ACRB (1950’s broiler) and Modern briler using the same feed under same condition.
The pictures shown depict the difference on growth rate on day 7, day 14, day 21 and day 35 respectively. And feel the impact. Woahhh breed from 1950 Vs breed from today!
#Myth:Omega 3 Eggs – Are These Real?
Omega-3 eggs do indeed contain these fats. Depending on your diet, and the requirement that you are looking for, omega-3 eggs do indeed contain these fats, but the bottom line is we have to eat in moderation.
#Myth: Is It Safe to Consume Eggs Rawly? Like How People Crack Eggs into Milo?
There is always a risk when it comes to eating eggs raw. This is due to the chances of introducing bacteria into our body system will become incredibly high if we eat eggs raw. We will be at risk of developing foodborne illnesses.
Dr Chong, Veterinarian
Banrie. 2013. Chickens Do Not Receive Growth Hormones: So Why All the Confusion? Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3dNTtUD
Federation of Livestock Farmers' Associations of Malaysia (FLFAM). (n.d). Broiler Production. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3m5Qjia
University of Georgia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://bit.ly/31ocKqM