Genetically modified chickens (meat)

Genetically modified chickens and the real cost.
People do not have a good track record with animals. The relationship that animals have with humans results in, more often than not, the exploitation of an animal for economic interest. More efficient breeding, housing and slaughtering methods has resulted in an overall reduced welfare for many of these domesticated animals. Animals which have been genetically chosen has resulted in making them so physically different from their ancestors that they have difficulty doing the most basic of movements.
Globally, over 50 billion broiler chickens are bred for meat, and are often so obese that they can barely walk and suffer from crippling leg disorders. When you buy chickens you can find hock burns which are found on the upper joints of chickens, which result from chickens sitting around in their own excrement for long durations. These chickens grow fast, and this rapid growth rate is due to factors such as nutrition and husbandry; however, between 50 and 60 % of this growth is attributed to genetic selection.
As a result, chickens have a decreased heart and lung size relative to the rest of the body causing cardiovascular problems, and skeletal defects causing walking difficulties. In fact, by the age of 6 weeks, 90 percent of broiler chickens are so obese that they can no longer walk. Many crippled chickens on factory farms die when they can no longer reach the water nozzles. (Peta)
Breeding programmes have also resulted in chickens converting food into meat more efficiently, resulting in a lower metabolic rate and lower oxygen consumption, which in turn makes them more liable to heart failure and ascites.
Although genetic selection aims for an increased welfare of the animal and these commercial traits, this balancing act is skewed heavily towards creating chickens to meet demands of commercial production, food security and increasing intensification farming methods.

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