As I have mentioned in previous blogs—-the average weight of chickens has soared in the past 50 years. In 1955 the average weight of a chicken was 3.07# while today it is 6.24#!!!!! More than double. And that is just the average. Many growers are raising birds close to 10#. (like the size of a small turkey). In other words—to meet global demand, the growers are growing them as fast as they can and as big as they can. Well, that growing mentality has finally “come home to roost.” No pun intended.
Because of this mentality–a big industry problem has arisen. They have found a muscle disorder in these bigger breasts that causes the meat to be laced with hard fibers resulting in toughness and limited pliability. They have been aptly named “woody breasts”. I kid you not. The good news is–they are only being found in the “large bird” breasts. Now, granted it is only being found in 10-20% of that meat—-but that’s millions of pounds of tough chicken meat out there. Now, let me be clear– there is absolutely no threat to consumers’ health but it does degrade the texture of the meat and it will feel “gummy” and will be harder to chew.
There is no current technology for a grower to catch these woody breasts except for the old feel technique. (I can imagine the jokes that will come out of this) So most of them get thru the system and into the market place. The ones they do catch and cull out are put into chicken nuggets. Doesn’t that just make you want to run out and buy a bucket of chicken nuggets??
So some pundits are saying that the growers will slow down the growth rate and not grow the birds to that size to fix this problem. We will see about that. But the real issue is that the cross breeding has created this fast growing bird—so it will take at least three years to get the breed switched back to a normal growth pattern.
Here at Rogers—we only bring in small birds–small meat and small primals. Why?—Because, I have preached for years that this fast growth was not a good way to go. I have instructed my sales force to educate their customers on the pitfalls of large cheap meat. Unfortunately, some people still pick price over quality. Not here!!! NO WOODYS!!