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17 August 2008

In the 1950s, it took 84 days to raise a five-pound chicken. Due to selective breeding and growth-promoting drugs, it now takes an average of only 45 days.1,2

To put the growth rate of today's chickens into perspective, the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture reports, "If you grew as fast as a chicken, you'd weigh 349 pounds at age 2."3 While this rapid growth increases profitability, it also aggravates health problems among chickens.

   1. Duncan IJH. 2001. Welfare problems of meat-type chickens. Farmed Animal Well-Being Conference at the University of California-Davis, June 28-29, 2001.
   2. Personal correspondence with Stephen Pretanik, director of Science and Technology, National Chicken Council, Washington, D.C., January 14, 2004.
   3. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. Top ten facts about chickens, www.kidsarus.org/kids_go4it/growit/raiseit/chickens.htm.

   45 Days: The Life and Death of a Broiler Chicken - Video
   The Welfare of Animals in the Broiler Chicken Industry – An HSUS Report –PDF http://www.hsus.org/web-files/PDF/farm/welfare_broiler.pdf *

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