The controversy continues around the so-called naked chickens

Jerusalem, 10 June. Israeli geneticist and poultry farmer Avigdor Kahaner is credited with creating featherless chickens, the animals that have captured the attention of the world on social media.

Although some experts suggest that he resorted to unnatural and unethical genetic modification, Kahaner clarified that he only did so by selectively crossing a naturally bare-necked breed with a conventional broiler.

Strictly speaking, this is not a genetically modified chicken, but a natural chicken, the characteristics of which go back more than 50 years, said a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Naked chicken is a relatively new breed of poultry, created through selective breeding to combat a very common problem: overheating. However, the so-called naked chickens have not yet become widespread.

Commercial broilers are genetically inclined to eat more and gain weight very quickly, causing their body metabolism to run at higher temperatures than other chicken breeds.

Their heart beats at up to 300 beats per minute, and while their rapid weight gain makes them ideal for the ever-growing meat industry, it also poses a very big problem: overheating.

Raising broilers in hot climates requires expensive chillers to control the temperature of the birds, but what if there was a cheaper way to cool the birds without using a lot of energy? It was this idea that led to the creation of the controversial featherless chicken.

Created in the early 2000s, Cahaner naked chicks attracted a lot of attention both for their unusual appearance and for the breed’s touted benefits, which included lower feed intake, faster growth rate, and the ability to withstand higher temperatures without the need for refrigerators.

They also provide apparent ease of plucking during human consumption. However, not everything is so good with these unusual-looking birds. The lack of feathers makes them more susceptible to parasites, mosquito attacks, skin diseases, sunburn and temperature fluctuations.

On the other hand, according to the online magazine, males have trouble mating because they can’t balance when flapping their featherless wings. But the main reason the naked chicken breed hasn’t become popular in the two decades since its inception is that people have never gotten used to its unnatural appearance.

Some call them disgusting and a model of sick science, while others argue that normal chickens suffer enough and there is no need to create such abominations, even more prone to suffering, without feathers, to save them from injury.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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