Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Modern-day chickens have a greater better growth rate in comparison to the chickens that existed in earlier times.
This increased growth rate is achieved due to the following aspects:
Selective Breeding – This is a natural way of selecting the birds with the most desirable traits for breeding like disease resistance, high weather tolerance, better feed conversion, etc.
Nutritional Feed – The poultry feed is manufactured with proper care, and they are made in a way that they possess all the necessary nutrients that are required for the healthy growth and well-being of chickens.
Enhanced housing systems – The chickens are provided with a comfortable environment that is more comfortable and hygienic for them to establish effective growth without any diseases.
Chickens are not “crammed” in houses. Broiler chickens chicken raised for meat live in deep litter sheds which provides enough space for chicks to literally “grow out” into full sized chickens. In fact, the houses are built in a way that each bird can eat, drink, rest and move around freely.
By nature, as the old saying goes, birds of a feather tend to flock together – a behavior that can sometimes give the impression that the birds are crowded, when in fact they’re just following their natural instincts.
The number of birds in a chicken house is based on a few factors such as including the overall size of the flock, the size of the feeder and drinker in the farm, and the target market weight of the birds – and is measured to ensure that chickens when fully grown have space to access fresh water and feed throughout their life.
It is also important to note that broiler chickens are not raised in cages.
You might be surprised to learn that there are no artificial or added hormones used in the production of Indian chicken. The use of hormones is expressively forbidden by law by the FSSAI. Some retailers claim ” No Hormones” lead you to believe that the chicken is different or healthier than similar other retail shops which does not claim “No Hormones” but all broiler chicken sold in India is free of added or artificial hormones.
Fact: No Hormones is used as a marketing tool to gain advantage. The labels that read: “raised without hormones” or “no hormones added” must also include a statement saying that no hormones are used in the production of any Broiler chicken raised in India.
So if you’re deciding between a chicken that says “no hormones added” and one that doesn’t, you can rest assured that neither of them do.
Main reasons that chickens do not receive hormones and steroids
- Growth hormones are proteins and it cannot be given orally and also no oral forms exists.
High cost – The cost would be far in excess of the value of the chicken itself. This makes no sense from a business standpoint.
Poultry vaccines are widely applied to prevent and control contagious poultry diseases. Their use in poultry production is aimed at avoiding or minimising the emergence of clinical disease at farm level.
It is common and lawfully accepted practice to administer vaccines for broiler chickens. It is a known fact that human beings and their pets are often vaccinated to improve their immunity against dangerous, life-threatening diseases. So, it is no strange thing that broiler chickens also require protection against serious infections, and therefore, they are also administered with vaccines as regulated by the government.
The vaccines given to broiler chicken is often misinterpreted as hormones and steroids which is practically impossible, scientifically illogical and not cost effective.
No. There is no need to worry about bird flu especially in the Indian method of cooking if the poultry products are cooked properly at 70 degree Celsius which is easily achieved in our Indian way of cooking which in fact has been effective in eradicating any possible flu or infections.
The guidelines of FSSAI and WHO have also indicated that the avian influenza virus is killed if the cooking temperature is more than or equal to 70 degrees Celsius. But, it is also important to understand that the bird flu is practically eradicated from our state (Tamil Nadu) for the past ten years, owing to stringent healthcare measures adopted by both the farming community and government bodies.
Antibiotics are just one of many tools farmers use to keep their flocks healthy, in order to contribute to a safe and wholesome food supply. Today, all chicken farms are under a health program designed by a licensed veterinarian. But just like people, animals sometimes get sick, and treating illness is a responsible part of animal care. When this happens, farmers work with animal health experts and veterinarians to determine if an antibiotic is needed the use of antibiotics is properly regulated by the law and the farming community, and it is only allowed and cost viable when the chickens require treatment against diseases.
Once the chickens are properly treated with the use of antibiotics, they are subjected to a period of withdrawal. During this period, any remnants of antibiotics will be effectively removed from the body of the chickens through excretion. FSSAI and the union health ministry consciously regulate the process, and therefore. The vast majority of the antibiotics that we use in poultry are never used in human medicine, and we have taken steps to phase out those most critical to human medicine such as banning the use of collisten in poultry.
DOES EATING BROILER CHICKEN CAUSES 'EARLY PUBERTY', AND IS THERE ANY FACTUAL PROOF TO DEBUNK THIS MYTH?
There is no factual evidence that even merely suggest that chicken is causing or promoting early puberty among female children.
Though this myth was not widespread, the issue of early puberty became a global phenomenon. Therefore, when international researches were directed towards finding the cause of early puberty, Dr A.Subhashree, a professor and researcher from Chennai had decided to discover the connection between chicken consumption and early puberty. Based on the survey and research conducted by her during 2020, it was factually identified and proved that there is no connection between chicken consumption and early puberty in girl children which is also published in London Journal of “Drug Invention Today” Vol: 13, Issue: 6 in 2020.
It’s a myth. Heat increment in the body is related to the calorific value of the food. Any food source containing higher amount of carbs and fat is the highest source of calories. When compared to other meats and foods (such as chocolates, fries, cheese etc.) chicken have less heat increment during the digestion and metabolism due to its zero carb and minimum fat percentage.
Chickens have the best biological value and they are perfectly absorbed by the body. Chicken being high in protein means the higher thermic effect of food does not mean in any way that it will produce heat in the body. Scientifically speaking we have no idea where this myth came from.
ANIMAL WELFARE: I’VE SEEN A LOT OF CONVERSATION ABOUT THE WELFARE OF BROILER CHICKENS, WHAT IS THE INDUSTRY’S PERSPECTIVE? DOES THE BROILER CHICKEN INDUSTRY ADHERE TO ETHICAL HANDLING OF ANIMALS?
The broiler chicken industries adhere to the ethical handling of animals.
PFRC –Poultry Farmers Regulatory Committee (is a self – regulatory body, representing Poultry Farmers, Breeders, Feed Manufacturers, Distributors, Retailers and other stakeholders who are associated with the Poultry Industry in India) has laid down norms based on the animal welfare board of India to ensure better welfare of broiler chicken and egg-laying breeder hens.
The World Organisation for Animal Health considers that good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling and humane slaughter/killing.
A contract farmer is an independent farmer who chooses to invest and build chicken houses, working under contract with a parent breeding company to raise chickens. Chicken farming is like any other business; people generally have to borrow some money to start or improve their operation. Almost all of the chickens raised for meat in India (broiler chickens) are raised by contract farmers.
The company with which the farmer has done contract provides chicks, feed, veterinarian care and technical advice, while the poultry farmer provides the day to day care of the birds, land and housing on which they’re raised, and utilities/maintenance of the housing. This contract farming supports the Indian farmers as an additional income/ Main Income more than the constantly fluctuating agricultural income.