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School Kids Bust Urban Chicken Myth

An experiment conducted by students from James Ruse Agricultural High School in Carlingford, NSW has busted a commonly-held belief about Australian chickens.

The Year 10 school students compared the growth of chickens bred to lay eggs with chickens bred for meat and found that over six weeks the meat chickens grew four times bigger than the egg chickens.

The research debunks the commonly held misconception that the larger size and better growth rates of the chickens we eat today is due to the use of hormones. Last year (2006), research released by the Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) revealed that almost 80% of Australians believe that something, for example growth hormones, is added to Australian chickens to make them grow artificially larger , despite the fact that hormones have not been used in the production of meat chickens in Australia for over 40 years

“It’s not hormones, antibiotics or genetic modification making chickens larger but best practice in traditional breeding. The truth is far less dramatic as was proven by this recent school project,” said Dr Andreas Dubs, Executive Director of the Australian Chicken Meat Federation.

The full media release and backgrounder are available through the links below.  An earlier media release on "Chicken Myths Keep Fattening the Australian Chook ..." and revealing what people believe makes chickens grow meatier these days may also be of interest.  It can be accessed here.

Date : 23/07/2007 ACMF Media Release: Selective Breeding School Experiment (53 KB)
Backgrounder - related FAQ (30 KB)

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