Chicken feed without antibiotics or growth hormones

Robert Carter farms chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) in California. He’s not impressed by feed additives which make the birds grow fast. This is no way to produce meat that’s healthy for people to eat, says Mr Carter. So he invented chicken pellets without growth hormones or antibiotics. His company, Nikoya Food, seeks crowdfunding ‘to complete development of the next-generation poultry feeds designed to replace chemical based feeds dependence.’

I hope Nikoya Food will grow into a successful chicken-feed supplier. With the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being negotiated, I think that our European farmers might soon buy this feed. Europeans’ concerns about the TTIP include our rejection of hormonal growth promoters and antibiotic growth promoters.

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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4 Responses to Chicken feed without antibiotics or growth hormones

  1. EqFe says:

    Many chicken farmers in the states don’t use growth hormones or antibiotics. The feed their chickens feed made of various grains. They tend to raise free range chickens at a far lower density than usual, which lowers the need for the antibiodics. Without the growth hormones their chickens grow much slower than the 6 weeks it takes to grow a commercial three pound bird. They usually need to charge 4 or more times as much per pound for their product. These chickens are usually smaller than the commercially raised chickens in part as a marketing ploy to claim that their chickens are not all that much more expensive than commercial birds.
    Before the advent of factory chicken raising, chickens were among the highest price meat in the market, now they are the lowest. There are tradeoffs to everything.

    • argylesock says:

      Yes there are. No doubt you know that chicken was a luxury meat until the 20th century, when methods for cheaper production were developed. I think Mr Carter intends to make his chicken pellets cheap enough to undercut rival feeds such as whole grains.

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