Chicken

  • Chickens have never had a reputation as intellectual heavyweights and scientists may have found the reason why. Experimental breeding suggests the domestication of the chicken 10,00 years ago caused the bird's brain to shrink and made them less fearful.
  • Last year, we heard how KFC was introducing a plant-based chicken substitute on its menu. Now, the company is going a step further, by looking into bioprinted meat made from lab-grown chicken cells.
  • Even when they're allowed to roam, chickens are still susceptible to infestations of blood-sucking mites. It now turns out that a backpack-like device could let farmers know when those mites are biting, so treatment could begin as soon as possible.
  • When it comes to farm animals being raised in subpar conditions, chickens often have it particularly rough. A new system that analyzes chick vocalizations, however, could help alert farmers (or authorities) when things really need to change.
  • KFC plans to trial a plant-based chicken substitute from Beyond Meat, with an eye towards a potential national rollout.
  • Science
    ​Ordinarily, when scientists want to produce proteins for use in medicine, they have to utilize techniques that are costly and complex. Recently, however, Scottish researchers have created genetically-modified hens that simply lay eggs containing significant quantities of such proteins.
  • Science
    Move over humans, there's a new dominant species on Earth – the chicken. According to researchers from the UK and South Africa, the most prominent marker of our age will not be our great monuments or industrial pollution, but the fossilized bones of hundreds of billions of domestic chickens.
  • They may give us an almost endless supply of eggs and nuggets, but industrial chicken farming comes with a tradeoff: it produces a lot of poop. To turn a con into a pro, researchers have developed a process that mixes chicken manure with an invasive weed to create a feedstock for making biofuel.
  • Our modern domesticated chicken is remarkably passive, can lay many eggs quickly, and has little fear of humans. But these traits were not always common, and a team of scientists recently managed to pinpoint the time when chickens went through their major evolutionary shift.​
  • For those who find themselves torn between cravings and ethical concerns every time they tuck into a chicken nugget, Memphis Meats has just served up chicken and duck meat cultivated in a lab from poultry cells, meaning no animals were harmed in the making of the meal.
  • Science
    Rare breeds of chickens could soon come from entirely different types of hens. The University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute ​used gene editing techniques to create surrogate hens that grow up to produce eggs with all the genetic information of different breeds.
  • Pulling chicken breasts off the bone can be a fiddly process, and often results in flesh being wasted by getting left behind. In a factory setting, that means slower processing times, and less meat to sell. That's why the Norwegian CYCLE project is developing an industrial robot to do the job.