Chickens on Steroids?? No, chickens don’t have any added steroids or hormones and that is regulated by the USDA. It has been outlawed since the 50’s. On the other hand—it is perfectly legal in beef cattle!! So eat more chicken!! But chickens are definately a lot bigger than they were when we were growing up.
In 1925—the average live weight of a chicken was 2.5# and the age when it was processed was 16 weeks. This year—the live weight was 6.12# and the age of the bird at processing was 6.5 weeks. WOW.
So why the growth? Genetic improvement—better nutritional understanding and better understanding of the environment the bird needs to take advantage of the genetic and nutritional potential it has.
So chickens are still the healthy alternative—-but they sure are bigger than they used to be.