APR 03, 2016 07:04 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
NOV 07, 2018
Videos
NOV 07, 2018
The Threat of Neglected Tropical Diseases
Did you know that around one billion people suffer from a neglected tropical disease?...
NOV 19, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 19, 2018
Kepler Scientists Reflect on the Now Retired Mission
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope recently ran out of fuel, preventing it from aligning its antenna toward Earth and maintaining communication. NASA knew...
NOV 24, 2018
Videos
NOV 24, 2018
Bats may Hold the Secret to Longevity
Some bats can live for up to 41 years, and many have a very healthy life....
NOV 26, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 26, 2018
Here's What An ISS Resupply Launch Looks Like From Space
Filmed rocket launches have become the norm here on Earth, but most cameras are situated at ground level, either shooting the takeoff from the launchpad or...
DEC 07, 2018
Videos
DEC 07, 2018
The Influence of Genetics on our Future
In recent decades, advances in genetic technologies have changed our world in many different ways....
DEC 12, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 12, 2018
Tooth-rejuvenating Hydrogels as Alternative to Root Canal Therapy
When the tooth's pulp has a baterial infection, the sensitive nerve endings can become painfully inflamed. Root canal therapy, also known as the endodo...
Loading Comments...