Why Injecting Chicken With Growth Hormones Is Impossible
The reason is simple, it is illegal.
In the United States, and many other countries, strict guidelines are placed on the use of hormones in animal feeds. The supplementation of hormones is illegal in poultry. There may be some that do add supplements to the chickens feed, however there is no logical reason to use them.
But If It’s Illegal, Why Would So Many People Believe The Myth?
Have you ever seen the label “Hormone Free” on a package of chicken you bought? Yes me too.
These labels have created a level of confusion and, in some cases, fear among consumers. Poultry producers have actually used this in their marketing campaigns to emphasize that they do not use hormones to boost the growth of their chickens, while implying that other poultry companies do. This common misconception that hormones are injected directly into the chickens, or added to their feed is totally inaccurate. Some even link the formation of ovarian cysts in women to eating chicken injected with hormones.
In fact, there is no such thing as a “hormone free” chicken. Chickens, like humans, produce growth hormones naturally. Progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen are naturally produced within chickens for normal development, growth, and reproduction. In the interest of debunking this myth, there are a few solid reasons why hormones are not used.
And…It Is Just Not Wise To Use Hormones…
It is not cost effective…
If the hormones were to be added to the chickens’ feed, they would be digested too quickly to have any effect. To have any effect at all, the hormones would have to be injected directly into the chickens on a frequent basis. Research shows that the release of the natural growth hormones in chickens is every 90 minutes. If the supplemental growth hormones were to be effective, the only feasible way to do this would be through intravenous administration. The logistics alone in injecting thousands of chickens intravenously every 90 minutes is impossible.
Chicken have evolved to have a higher growth rate
Like humans, when a chicken enters puberty, they experience a “growth spurt.” Chickens grow at a rate so rapidly that feed restriction is occasionally recommended to limit the incidences of heart attacks, or in some regions, heat stress. It makes no sense to force a higher growth rate on chickens. Also, there have also been improvements in genetics, nutrition, and disease control. Hormones are just not needed.
Next Time You Buy A Chicken…
The next time you buy a chicken, rest assured they are not larger “due to growth hormones.” One brand is not better than the other because they are “hormone free.” Chickens are not injected with growth hormones, but they do produce them naturally. The hormones produced by chickens will not affect you or create health problems. You can feel confident that the chicken wings you’re eating during your Sunday football game are safe.
Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com