Cooks Venture Breed Scores High In GAP Better Chicken Study

A single chicken sitting on a branch in a pasture.

Great news! We’re proud to share the results from the Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.) multidisciplinary study on broiler chicken. This independent research study, conducted by the University of Guelph, is the largest most comprehensive study to date, including more than 7,500 broiler chickens from 16 different genetic strains.

Cooks Venture is included on a short list of breeds that meet G.A.P.’s new standards for animal welfare and was the only broiler line approved in commercial scaled production today. This list will be used to qualify for the Better Chicken Commitment breed requirements that over 216 major companies have committed to, comprising over 11% of the US market.

Cooks Venture’s breed, the Pioneer, scored high for animal welfare, high activity, high bone density, excellent mobility, low to no rates of muscle myopathies (e.g. woody breast syndrome, white striping disease), and strong immune development.

“Our breed, the Pioneer, is selectively bred from heritage line chickens, growing slower than conventional birds, resulting in a robust chicken with efficient feed conversion through better gut health,” states Matthew Wadiak, Cooks Venture CEO and founder. “This is the culmination of over 12 years of research with heritage lines, to start from the ground up, to breed a better chicken without the disorders associated with 90% of chicken in America. Our largest asset is our genetics which we've developed prioritizing both health and flavor.”

The two year study definitively found the breed of chicken to be the most critical component for animal welfare.This research was the first step in defining a new animal welfare protocol and breeds acceptable for use in G.A.P. 's program moving forward.

“We’re proof that scaled and independent breeding companies can make an impact - improving the animal’s health and welfare, while producing more flavorful and nutritious chicken,” states Wadiak.

In 2016, G.A.P. announced that by 2024, it would replace 100 percent of chicken breeds that result in poor welfare outcomes with breeds required to meet specified welfare outcomes within its animal welfare certification program.

The University of Guelph study demonstrates the strength of Cooks Venture’s Pioneer breed at a time when Americans are increasingly interested in animal welfare, and are more than ever willing to pay for food with ethical claims.

Read more from Bloomberg News here and here.

For more information, the approved breed list, and more on the Guelph Study and GAP's Better Chicken Project visit

For more information on the Better Chicken Commitment visit:


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