Starting in the 1950s, the poultry industry has bred broiler chickens to grow bigger and faster. This rapid growth comes with a cost; industrial chickens grow so fast that their bones, heart, and lungs often can’t keep up.
Research from the RSPCA details that fast-growing birds are twice as likely to die due to ill health, four times more likely to suffer from sores to their legs from resting on the ground for too long due to inactivity, and 3.5 times more likely to suffer from moderate to severe lameness. The RSPCA concludes, “Slower growing birds are a better choice – better for the chicken and better for consumers.”
A comprehensive, two-year study conducted by the University of Guelph in partnership with Global Animal Partnership (GAP) confirms the RSPCA’s conclusion on breed; this study details how the breed of chicken is the most critical component for animal welfare.
"Our breed, the Pioneer, is selectively bred from heritage line chickens, growing slower than conventional birds, resulting in a robust chicken with 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 breed a better chicken without the disorders associated with 90% of chicken in America while prioritizing health and flavor...”