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Women in Ag: Celebrate National Chicken Month with #FactsNotFear!
September brings the end of summer, a long holiday weekend (for some of us, anyway), back to school, and National Chicken Month!
I write more often about turkey in this blog, but the truth is, I'm equally opportunity poultry so I want to take a few minutes and share a few chicken facts with you in honor of this great month.
Remember - seek out #FactsNotFear and don't fall for misinformation about chicken, turkey and egg production.
No growth hormones or steroids!
Did you know that (according to the BC Chicken Growers Association) 64% of Canadians think chickens are fed growth hormones to increase their weight/size? I don't know if there's a similar study in America, but I'd venture to say the results would be very similar, unfortunately.
This is a complete fallacy - in the U.S. and in Canada! It's been illegal to feed poultry (this includes turkeys, as well) hormones and steroids for over 50 years.
So how do chickens grow so large and fast?
Chalk it up to great genetics and optimal feed. The Animal Agriculture Alliance featured the infogram near the top of this post in its Instagram account this week. According to a 2014 study published in the Oxford Journals, feed efficiency and selected breeding have contributed to the growth in broiler chickens.
What is optimal feed, anyway?Meat-type chickens - or "broilers" - are fed a mix of corn, soybeans, vitamins, and minerals. My boss often tells people poultry are fed better diets than he is - and he would be right. No junk food, no weird stuff - and it's formulated by an animal nutritionist. Not a bad deal for chickens!
You can find a lot of really helpful information about how U.S. chicken farmers - and there are 29,500 of them! - care for their birds at www.ChickenRoost.com or by following The Chicken Roost on Facebook and Twitter (@RoostSocial).
I also write often about poultry on my personal blog, so if you haven't checked out some of my links, I hope you will do so. My most popular chicken post right now addresses a topic you may have seen floating around social media recently: Your Chicken is Not Going to China (and Back)!