dangerousmeta!, the original new mexican miscellany, offering eclectic linkage since 1999.

The Dish: Chicken Not So Little.

Sully fell for it. I ain’t never seen a scrawny chicken on any farm, in my whole life - unless they were sick. Were we all picking at bony little two pound birds when I was born? Hell no. Do you realize how little meat is on a two-pound bird? Look at history. Vintage cookbooks from the 19th century spec four pound and larger hens.

This is what I mean about today’s internet. Doesn’t matter who is curating, how popular or clever they are. Accept nothing at face value. That includes MY finds. I do my best ... and in spite of that, I still link some pretty stinkeroo stuff from time to time. One must question the premise, every damn time.

Later: See the comments for clarification.

10/07/14 • 11:33 AM • CorrectionsFoodHistoryInternetScienceWeblogs • (4) Comments


I bet that they’re doing the experiment in constant time. 1957 was just into the commercial chicken age, (about the time when the cornish cross was developed) and the broilers were taking 18 or more weeks to get to sell weight, where now they’re at more like 8 weeks for bigger birds.  That 1957 bird looks like an adolescent, the 2005 one looks more mature.  You can especially see it in the comb and wattles.

Posted by eric on 10/07/14 at 12:31 PM

Ah - that makes more sense.  More weight faster. Farmers in the past just had larger flocks.

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 10/07/14 at 12:46 PM

The actual study.  It seems growth over time is exactly what they were looking at.

Too bad noone at Vox - or The Dish - bothered to mention it. 

I’ll file this under ‘Corrections’ and claim ‘my bad.’

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 10/07/14 at 12:49 PM

We’ve got Speckled hens in the back yard and their growth rate was more like the 1957 one than the 2005. But they’re also free range and have a pretty varied diet (including small birds!) rather than something specifically intended to fatten them up.

Posted by Tom on 10/08/14 at 04:42 AM


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