What are chickens fed?
The diet fed to chickens is predominantly based on corn, wheat, barley, and soybean meal. Generally speaking, cereals grains provide the energy component of the diet, while soybean meal primarily provides the protein. Vegetable oils (soybean oil) are usually included to provide additional energy when deficient. Chicken diets are also fortified with additional vitamins, minerals, and some amino acids that are not present in sufficient amounts in grains, to meet all nutrients requirements.
Why do many people wrongly believe that chickens are fed hormones?
The main reason might be that people see chickens sold in the market are much bigger than those that may be raised in their backyards. They may wrongly conclude that this must be as a result of some unnatural intervention.
The actual reason for this increased growth rate is the extensive selective breeding that has been adopted by the industry over the past 50 years, which aims to use selected breeds not only for fast growing birds but also for healthier and more resistant ones. However, this does not mean that chicken are genetically modified, but it is traditional cross and selective breeding techniques.
Are chicken given antibiotics?
There is no unnecessary routine, or off label use of antibiotics or other medication in any of our farms. Chickens are only medicated if there is a risk of disease that threatens the flock. This is rarely the case at our farms as we take extreme measures to prevent infection.
Can we consume the meat of a diseased chicken?
Unlike many other animals, most diseased chickens will not affect people. Some organisms which can cause illness in people may be carried by chickens, such as Salmonella, but these are not dangerous if the meat is handled and cooked properly.
How is chicken properly cooked?
Cooking to a temperature of 72 degrees should be sufficient; however, make that this temperature is reached at each part of the chicken, especially at the core. Therefore, the amount of time you need to cook chicken meat depends upon the type of cut and how big it is. Although a good rule of thumb is to cook it for one hour per kilogram, a simple way to get an indication of whether it has been cooked enough is to stick a fork into the thickest part of the meat, the juice that comes out should be clear.