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From the News Archives

Fast track hatchlings

Today's chicken and turkeys are being relegated to the fast track—even before they hatch. According to a report in the January 2002 edition of Nature Reviews, injecting sugar or protein into incubating eggs makes the chicks 10 percent larger at time of hatching. The net result is that the birds reach market size in 50 days instead of 60. Meanwhile, researchers are also experimenting with a more questionable practice—injecting chicken growth hormone into eggs to speed the birds' growth. (See citation below.)

Commentary: Grassfarmers are advocates of the Slow Food movement. They raise poultry on pasture and allow them to reach maturity at a more normal pace.

Kocamis, H., Y. N. Yeni, D. C. Kirkpatrick-Keller, and J. Killefer. "Postnatal Growth of Broilers in Response to in Ovo Administration of Chicken Growth Hormone." Poult Sci 78, no. 8 (1999): 1219-26.

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