The poultry industry in India is now fighting a disinformation campaign about usage of hormones, steroids in raising chickens. This has led to decreased sales of chicken amidst fears of side-effects of obesity, early onset of puberty and anti-microbial resistance after eating injected birds, being spread through social media networks.
As part of this thriving industry, we would like to dispel the common unfounded fears and myths prevailing nowadays regarding breeding of chickens. Some of the common myths are:
Usage of hormones, steroids
Antibiotics that are given to birds are purely only for medicinal reasons and are most often prescribed by qualified veterinary doctors who are properly registered with the medical council. The rumours surrounding the use of hormone injections are unfounded as the cost of hormones is much higher than the cost of the birds and therefore would not be of benefit to chicken farmers. Injecting steroids and hormones in each bird would also be cumbersome and is not needed at all as the birds grow naturally to marketable weight because of advances in nutrition and breeding techniques developed over the years.
Increased size of Broiler chickens in 40 days
There has been some talk surrounding the controversy of broiler chickens attaining full size in 40 days. This has been possible due to better breeding of birds with the best attributes aided by feed formulations. Not genetic modifications. The birds are growing at a faster rate nowadays due to better and more efficient practices developed over the years and used in breeding, rearing.
In essence, there is no valid reason to panic that eating broiler chicken will result in obesity or early puberty. This could be possible only if hormones or steroids are used. Chicken by itself is highly nutritious as it contains pure protein, vitamins and minerals and has hardly any carbohydrate content.
So if you’re planning to get into poultry farming or start eating chicken, don’t think twice! Either way, it’s a great decision.