Agri Business

Poultry breeding | Dispelling myths about hormones, steroids in chicken

Prasanna Manogaran | Updated on August 29, 2021

File photo   -  The Hindu

Poultry sector fighting disinformation campaign on these issues

The poultry industry in India is now fighting a disinformation campaign about usage of hormones, steroids in raising chickens. This has led to decreased sales of chicken amidst fears of side-effects of obesity, early onset of puberty and antimicrobial resistance after eating the injected birds. The fears have been spread through social media.

As part of this thriving industry, we, at Aqgromalin, would like to dispel the unfounded fears and myths prevailing nowadays regarding breeding of chickens. Some of the common myths are:

Usage of hormones, steroids

The antibiotics given to birds are only for medical reasons and are most often prescribed by qualified veterinary doctors registered with the medical council. Rumors surrounding the use of hormone injections are unfounded as the cost of hormones is much higher than the cost of the birds and therefore, will not be of benefit to chicken farmers. Injecting steroids and hormones in each bird would also be cumbersome and is not needed as the birds grow naturally to marketable weight because of advances in nutrition and breeding techniques developed over the years.

Increased size of broiler chickens

There has been some talk surrounding the controversy of broiler chickens attaining full size in 40 days. This has been possible due to better breeding of birds with the best attributes aided by feed formulations and not through genetic modifications. Birds are growing at a faster rate nowadays due to better and more efficient practices developed over the years. The practices are used in breeding and rearing.

In essence, there is no valid reason to panic that eating broiler chicken will result in obesity or early puberty. This could be possible only if hormones or steroids are used. Chicken by itself is highly nutritious as it contains pure protein, vitamins and minerals and has hardly any carbohydrate content.

So if you’re planning to get into poultry farming or start eating chicken, don’t think twice! Either way, it’s a great decision.

Steroid implant products

Also, all approved steroid implant products have a zero day withdrawal. This means that the meat from the animal is safe for humans to eat at any time after the animal is treated. Some of the approved drugs are naturally produced throughout life in people and animals, such as estradiol (estrogen), progesterone, and testosterone. These natural hormones are necessary for normal development, growth, and reproduction. People are not at risk from eating food from animals treated with these drugs. This is because the amount of additional hormones following drug treatment is very small compared to the amount of natural hormones that are normally found in the meat of untreated animals and that are naturally produced in the human body.


(The author is the co-founder and CEO of Aqgromalin)

Published on August 29, 2021

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