APR 03, 2016 7:04 AM PDT

The Problem With Growing Bigger Chickens

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Every body loves chicken - it's a universally tasty meat that's used in many dishes throughout the world. With the increased demand for this popular meat choice, farmers have been raising chickens that are not only bigger but take much shorter time to get to market size. Broiler chickens - those raised strictly for meat - have roughly doubled in size in the past 50 years. And now it only takes half the time for the chickens to mature to such size. But while these tricks have the supply meet demands, the chicken meat quality seems to have suffered in the process.

An increasing number of chicken breast meat has been found to be laced with hard fibers - a condition termed "woody breasts" in the industry. Though these muscle disorders in the meat don't carry health risks, the texture and quality are noticeably degraded. Experts describe this type of meat as harder and more elastic, which requires extra chewing to mash through. Though experts don't know the exact causes behind formation of woody breasts, they suspect it must have to do with growing heavier birds in such a short amount of time.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
DEC 23, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 23, 2019
The Trouble With the InSight Mission's Burrowing Mole Explained
NASA’s InSight mission is designed to probe the red planet’s internal physical characteristics, including heat emanating from its core and Mars...
DEC 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 23, 2019
Brave Ant Explorers Engage a Termite Colony
Ants and termites have known their place as bitter rivals in the animal kingdom for more than 150 million years. Even today, as populations peak at some of...
DEC 30, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 30, 2019
How SpaceX's Crew Dragon Will Operate, From Start to Finish
It’s no mystery by now that SpaceX is working hard to earn the right to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station via NASA’s Commerci...
JAN 13, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 13, 2020
An Albatross Mother's Work is Never Done
Albatross chicks are naturally flightless, and this increases their dependence on their parental units to bring back food for them to eat. In this chick&rs...
JAN 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 26, 2020
How Much Do You Know About the Planet Mercury?
Mercury is the solar system’s smallest planet, and it’s also the one residing closest to the Sun. But while Mercury is commonly shrugged off as...
FEB 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 10, 2020
Learn How NASA Suppresses the Loud Sounds of a Rocket Launch
When a large chemical rocket’s engines ignite, they produce thousands, if not millions, of pounds of thrust. This much power is necessary to loft the...
Loading Comments...