I’ve bought five of United States factory production birds called Cornish Crosses from Cackle Hatchery, you get a box of 3 day old chicks. The chicks can live on their yolk for 3 days before they need to eat. That’s because the sitting hen may stay on her nest for several days for the late hatching eggs. So the chicks need to be able to last a couple days without eating or drinking water. Anyway… These poor factory birds grow so fast even if you give them a good home, let them free range, the Cornish Cross can’t handle the stress, especially extreme heat or cold weather. They grow so fast they will become so deformed and their body systems so stressed they will not live to beyond a year old. I’ve read Cornish Crosses can breed naturally, however from what I’ve seen a chicken that can’t walk but a few steps cannot mount a hen and connect vents. Physically impossible with their enormous breasts which causes horrible balances problems. My Heritage bred chickens live 10 years or more. Broke my heart, the Cornish Crosses still had that sweet chicken personality in those poor deformed bodies. The kindest thing to do was to butcher the Cornish Cross at 8 weeks old. I will never eat another factory bird. I feel we have broke our contract with nature and our domestic livestock.
Broiler Chickens Found At Grocery Retailers Grow Three Times Faster Than Normal Chickens, Plagued With Lameness And Disease
by April McCarthy
Billions of chickens around the world suffer in the intensive farming systems every year. Broilers chickens have been selectively bred and genetically modified so that they are reared quickly and cheaply to have enough meat to fulfill demand. Most these chickens suffer from painful lameness and disease related to their growth rates.
Intensification of the broiler chicken industry started in the late 1950′s, when the use of ‘dual purpose’ chickens for egg and meat production ceased and new poultry strains were produced specifically for meat production.
For example, in 1950, well under 50 million commercial broiler chickens were raised commercially, and now that number is well into the billions. When Kentucky Fried Chicken stores opened in the 1970s, production of these chickens skyrocketed over 40%.The result of the narrowly focused breeding programs has been a bird which grows twice or three times as fast as a normal chicken and converts its food into meat in a much more efficient way. Most are raised under intensive systems and reach slaughter weight at 5-7 weeks of age. As a consequence the price of chicken meat has declined and consumption has risen several fold.
Intensive Selective Breeding