They explain the state of industrial poultry today – how chickens and turkeys live in deplorable conditions and are a terrible genetic representation of their species. The heritage breeds of poultry are disappearing in favor of these genetic alterations, which grow four times faster and are grossly overweight and unhealthy.
Jim’s work with the Sustainable Poultry Network encourages poultry enthusiasts to pay attention to heritage breeds, and to learn about proper animal husbandry, raising chicken, turkeys, geese and ducks in an ethical and healthy environment.
We look at issues such as genetic heritage and what different breeds have to offer. What does it mean to be “free range” today – when industrial chicken buildings containing thousands of birds crammed in together are officially “free range.” How important is the diet of birds? And what is the state of poultry around the world. We need to get back to our roots, and consider raising backyard poultry that is from good stock, truly free ranging, and healthy.
**Update: Ephie erroneously mentioned that Tyson has two breeds of chicken, but we have been corrected – there is only one, the Cornish Cross, a “terminal bird” which cannot reproduce, and which is grossly overweight, with major health issues.
Eph also made a video with them – Adventures of the Chicken Flockers! Backyard Chicken Assessments and Advice. It’s a fun, humorous, and educational video that gets down and dirty, looking at different backyard chicken flocks. Note: some of the humor is adult and may not be suitable for kids.