Chickens are the most numerous bird species on the planet and carry the oldest bloodline in the aviary world. Bred from the wild Asian junglefowl and today they are the most common meat source on the planet.
For approximately 8,000 years these birds were thought to be domesticated for fighting and not for food. It was discovered that they were the first descendent of the dinosaur per the 2004 genome map.
Archeologists found that it wasn’t until the age of Egypt before chickens were cultivated for their eggs. It was the Romans who began feasting on the bird cultivating and breeding them. When Rome fell so the declined the chicken. It is believed that the Polynesians brought the chicken with them to South America approximately two hundred years before Columbus.
Mass farming of chickens started in the mid-20th Century. A 16 week old chicken weighed 2.5 pounds in 1925 by the end of the Century, a chicken of the same age had doubled in size and could hardly carry its weight. There are still farms that keep them in indoors, in closed cages with no room to move causing them to develop sores and infections and forced to lie in their own waste. A 2010 study resulted in the fact that two-thirds of whole chickens sold in supermarkets and grocery stores throughout the county contain salmonella and/or campylobacter.
Today, there is an alternative to the industrial raised chicken. Farmers are raising chickens in open yards allowing them fresh air and free-range. Also, many individuals are controlling their chickens’ free range area to be organic so the ground, insects, and feed are pesticide and herbicide free.
Milwaukeeans are consumers and therefore have the control on how these ancient birds are treated. If the consumer buys without thought, the cruelty is perpetuated and the population maybe eating tainted food. Those who want to change the situation of the chicken will.