In this article a study was conducted to observe what effects stress had on the genetics of chickens. The study involved one control group in which the chicken were given: plenty of space to roam; other chickens to socialize with; and easy access to food and water, and a stress group in which the chickens were confined to a small area; isolated at times; and given limited access to food and water. The genes within the red blood cells of both chickens were analyzed. It was found in the chickens that were put under stressful conditions that their methyl groups were attached to their DNA in a completely different way than that of the control groups. Methylation changes the activity of a DNA segment without changing the DNA sequence. I found this article posted by Science Daily to be very informative. I agree with the data found from this study, as there is no denying that even just the quality of chicken is found to be better in free range than in factory raised, so it comes to no surprise that there are other harmful factors that occur when chickens are put under stressful conditions. I hope this study brings more awareness to how harmful the techniques used in factories impact the health and well being of the animals. In my opinion the treatment of commercially produced meat and dairy products is inhumane and cruel, and I believe guidelines and laws should be put into place to ensure that all animals are treated in an ethical manner.
This is an awesome article and post! I find studies on chickens really interesting as I have chickens at home. I am curious to see if this methylation that occurs in their DNA has any effect on their lifespan or egg laying? It is sad to see how chickens are taken care of at a commercial level. I hope that at some point we resort to more ethical approaches like free roam. Awesome post!ReplyDelete