Disturbing Article in the New York Times

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by krys2000, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. krys2000

    krys2000 In the Brooder

    One of the reasons that we have chosen to raise out own chickens is because we are trying to move AWAY from harmful chemicals in our food. This article really disturbs me!

    Edible Harmony
    Chemical Chicken?

    In today’s New York Times, Nicholas Kristof reports on a new study from Johns Hopkins and Arizona State pointing out that in feather meal, a poultry by product, can be found arsenic, caffeine, Benadryl, fluoroquinolone antibiotics, and prozac. All these ingredients first appear in chicken feed. Arsenic is recommended for decreasing infections and making chicken flesh an “appetizing shade of pink.” About 90% of American chickens are fed arsenic (as Dr. Oz knows, it’s not just in apples.)

    One curious factor is that caffeine is given to chickens to keep them awake—so they can keep eating—with Benadryl provided to calm them down. Stressed chickens give “tougher” meat.

    In this way chicken breeders are mirroring human behavior and our “Up-Down Trap”. Many teenagers take loads of caffeine laced energy drinks to stay “up” through the day, followed by “relaxation drinks” to “come down” at night. In later years many may shift to alcohol as their preferred knock out drop—still perhaps the most popular sleeping pill in the world.



    Chickens Fed Caffeine, Banned Antibiotics, and Prozac Often Without The Farmer’s Knowledge:

    New research not only confirms use of arsenic, but finds the addition of a frightening elixir of drugs that includes caffeine, banned antibiotics, and even Prozac. Researchers started off testing just for banned antibiotics but went ahead and looked for other substances because it didn’t add to the cost of the test. What they found even surprised them, according to a story in The New York Times.

    But even more surprising is that many farmers aren’t even aware that they are feeding their chickens this extreme elixir, rather, they use a certain food mix mandated by the food companies that buy their products.

    Organic chicken feed prohibits the use of roxarsone as an additive, so while this is currently your best bet, it's no perfect remedy because one organic brand tested still showed traces of arsenic. So the next most rational step is to give up the bird completely. http://www.treehugger.com/health/ch...ozac-often-without-the-farmers-knowledge.html


    One study, just published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Environmental Science & Technology, found that feather meal routinely contained a banned class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. These antibiotics (such as Cipro), are illegal in poultry production because they can breed antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that harm humans. Already, antibiotic-resistant infections kill more Americans annually than AIDS, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

    The same study also found that one-third of feather-meal samples contained an antihistamine that is the active ingredient of Benadryl. The great majority of feather meal contained acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. And feather-meal samples from China contained an antidepressant that is the active ingredient in Prozac.

    Poultry-growing literature has recommended Benadryl to reduce anxiety among chickens, apparently because stressed chickens have tougher meat and grow more slowly. Tylenol and Prozac presumably serve the same purpose.

    Researchers found that most feather-meal samples contained caffeine. It turns out that chickens are sometimes fed coffee pulp and green tea powder to keep them awake so that they can spend more time eating. (Is that why they need the Benadryl, to calm them down?)

    The other peer-reviewed study, reported in a journal called Science of the Total Environment, found arsenic in every sample of feather meal tested. Almost 9 in 10 broiler chickens in the United States had been fed arsenic, according to a 2011 industry estimate.

    Arsenic in Our Chicken? http://nyti.ms/15ZuapW — with
  2. dragonlair

    dragonlair Songster

    Apr 29, 2008
    wow. I guess i will be raising my own chicken starting this spring. Thank you for the eye opening article.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Thank you for posting that article. Pretty disheartening. I'm glad I raise my own chickens for meat and eggs. I purchase their food but feel I at least have some control in what they eat.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by