Effects of Poultry Management Systems on Consumer Health

Fig 2. Comparison of yolks in eggs produced by grass-fed chickens (left) and grain fed chickens (right) (HealthBanquet.com LLC,  2009) Retrieved from http://www.healthbanquet.com/free-range-eggs.html)

Tyler France, Kylie LaRocque, Kelsi Watkins

Have you ever wondered where the meat you buy at the grocery store comes from?  Or if the animals are raised on a nice green pasture and treated humanely?  We’d all like to think that they were, but the harsh reality is that the majority of our meat is produced by industrialized farming facilities, or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).  CAFOs are farms designed to produce the highest yield of product for the lowest price, and in the shortest amount of time. Industrial farms don’t raise their meat like local farms do; they produce it as fast as possible to support a high profit margin. For example, most broiler chickens, which are chickens breeds raised for meat, reach market weight around 20 weeks of age or in five months; thus giving these chickens the shortest lives amongst industrialized farmed animals (Sams, 2001). This can be compared to poultry production in the late 1940s, when chickens would take almost triple the time to reach the same market weight as today (Sams, 2001). Continue Reading