Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

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Marigold
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Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

Post by Marigold » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:12 am

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chrismahon
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Re: Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

Post by chrismahon » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:28 am

I don't know about England, but here in France the answer is 'probably not'. The reason is the way chickens are reared in the open air free to range and they are slaughtered around 12 weeks (not 5 ½), so just before cockerels become a problem. Anyone using feed with hormones or antibiotics would have to declare that and would then sell nothing as the French are very particular about their food and the way it is produced. Apparently cage hens eggs have such a small market now that all the producers here are going out of business, so they are taking the cages out and producing 'barn' eggs in the buildings.
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Re: Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

Post by rick » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:05 pm

As soon as you try to avoid chicken in the UK you notice how heavily we rely on as a staple. A good 60% of sandwiches (sometimes more) are chicken, chicken and bacon, chicken salad etc... I cant bring myself to eat it, partly because I now look at a drumstick and see my own birds (somewhat silly, I know) but also knowing how industrially pumped up they are.
The French are very sensible to reject it. Valuing quality, even over quantity and price. I don't understand why bargain brand buy one get one free can be used to sell anything in seemingly enormous quantities.
Is it me? Do I want a baguette for a pound? How is that even possible without being made of cardboard?
On the brighter side - that's the male pill sorted :)
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Re: Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

Post by Marigold » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:42 pm

When I do buy chicken I always get organic from Waitrose and the flavour is far superior than the ordinary basic stuff, even if not so good as something reared in your own field. Last week I got a whole chicken for £10.50, which yielded 6 portions of meat and 6 portions of beautiful chicken-and -veg soup from the carcass plus a handful of veg. I agree with you, Rick, about avoiding cheap mass-produced chicken, and I don't even like eating commercially produced eggs at this time of year when my own hens are moulting, unless they're organic as well. I wonder if fertility is also affected in the cock birds for breeding, presumably produced from the same bloodlines as the hens?
And can anyone please explain how on earth they fertilise all those hundreds of thousands of hens which go on to produce fertile eggs for the next generation of mass-produced chicks? I think it's obviously some insemination process, I don't suppose there are lovely big farms somewhere with nice big pens each containing a cock bird and a few devoted hens. But how do they get the sperm out of the cockerels and into the hens??? This must be a mass industry that we never seem to hear anything about, probably because of the welfare issues involved.
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Re: Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

Post by Evie » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:44 pm

rick wrote:The French are very sensible to reject it. Valuing quality, even over quantity and price.
They don't value animal welfare anywhere near as much, though.

I live in an area where GM trials and various other scientific research is done right outside our door. Maybe if I were to let my meat birds free range outside of our garden some really strange offspring might produced...? :ugeek:
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Re: Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

Post by Evie » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:46 pm

Marigold wrote: And can anyone please explain how on earth they fertilise all those hundreds of thousands of hens which go on to produce fertile eggs for the next generation of mass-produced chicks?
Good question! Now on my to do list to research over the holidays.
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Re: Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

Post by dinosaw » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:41 pm

Let's hope so, way too many people crammed onto this planet already. The reason no research has been done on this specifically is probably because they are still looking into a gazillion other potential causes which are higher up the list.

Millions of people out there don't have the luxury of choosing between organic and cheap chicken, their choice instead is one of cheap chicken or no chicken at all.
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rick
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Re: Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

Post by rick » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:52 pm

Prepare to be staggered Evie!
When I got my first 3 hybrids from a school hatch it was with the information that they had come from Hyline and that set me off on searching around to see how it works. The eggs for layers and broilers are a commercial laboratory output. The birds are a product that is genetically 'manufactured' to be extremely consistent and productive (that is to say precision genetic selection for the most part rather than modification. ) Its full scale engineering. I don't know but I would think that one cockerel probably fertilises tens of thousands of hens by artificial insemination. Being sex-linked hybrids, of course, their parents are not the same breed as the resulting chicks. Somewhere there is a fairly small flock of parent birds who will be exceptional specimens and very well looked after indeed. Probably free ranging in chicken paradise. Under them there will be secondary breeders supplying the industry and under them the pyramid grows to astronimical proportions!
Constant yellow rivers of sex-linked chicks on conveyor belts being sorted.
I did hear a while ago that it is now possible to sex a chick while it is still in the egg with a potentially huge saving to the industry as well as a saving of unnecessary distress but as with these new developments it is usually quite a while before they are widely adopted.
But then, as Dino says, they feed the world. I bet T-Rex didn't see that one coming!
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Re: Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

Post by Marigold » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:58 pm

rick wrote:Prepare to be staggered Evie!
Its full scale engineering. I don't know but I would think that one cockerel probably fertilises tens of thousands of hens by artificial insemination. Being sex-linked hybrids, of course, their parents are not the same breed as the resulting chicks. Somewhere there is a fairly small flock of parent birds who will be exceptional specimens and very well looked after indeed. Probably free ranging in chicken paradise.
!
Yes - but that STILL doesn't answer my question!
HOW IS IT DONE?
I know that hens store sperm for up to three weeks and once covered by a cockerel, subsequent eggs may be fertile for that period of time. This is why you have to leave 3 weeks or so between cockerels if you want to change the parentage and be sure that the sperm is from the new male. So presumably the hens could be inseminated every 3 weeks or so, but this might depend on where they were in their cycle, maybe, and I still don't know how you would get the goods from the cock bird and into the hen. I suppose it would be indelicate to use a turkey baster?
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Re: Is eating commercial chicken bad for your sperm count?

Post by rick » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:34 pm

Apparently, and surprisingly, artificial insemination isn't practical with chickens. There are videos of AI for chickens on youtube but it seems to be used in breeding to boost fertility and only occasionally. The sperm degrades within minuets apparently so its small scale stuff.
Still doesn't really answer the question though - I wonder how many cockerels that takes, to keep the production line rolling?
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