Chickens are given hormones: truth or myth?

em 28 de Jun de 2023

If you ever wondered if chickens are given hormones to grow faster, check this article.

Conventional poultry farming system

Conventional poultry farming system

Broilers with fast growth rates. You have probably heard that the birds are given hormones to make them grow rapidly to large sizes.

But this is a myth for two reasons: first, the use of these substances in poultry production is prohibited according to the Brazilian law (Decree no. 76,986 of January 6, 1976); Second, the use of hormones would not be feasible as they would need to be injected into the bird’s body every day, leading to performance losses.

If you are still wondering how conventionally raised broiler chickens grow so fast, there are some factors that can help explain.

Many advances in research have influenced the nutrition, management practices and genetics over the past years. On the other side, a common practice to improve animal performance has attracted attention.

The conventionally raised broiler chickens are fed diets containing additives allowed by law that, although having proven efficacy to improve productivity and animal health, produce a series of negative effects in the long term. Know the main ones and understand their effects.


What are anticoccidials and antibiotics?

Poultry production is directly impacted by diseases such as coccidiosis, resulting in significant economic losses for the industry.

Caused by protozoa that attach to the intestinal tract reducing nutrient absorption and causing mucosal lesions, this disease also facilitates the emergence of other pathologies, is highly contagious, and is spread through infected droppings.

In conventional poultry farming systems, anticoccidials are added to the feed to inhibit or eliminate those protozoa.

Antimicrobials are also used in traditional poultry farming and among them are the antibiotics, which are responsible for preventing the growth of certain microorganisms.


Antibiotics and anticoccidials: indiscriminate use

It is not from today that the conventional poultry industry uses antibiotics and anticoccidials not only to prevent diseases but also to increase bird’s growth and survival rates.

Among the main consequences of the indiscriminate use of these substances are:

  • Changes in gut microbiota health and animal physiology;
  • Reduced effect of medications against parasites and other microorganisms. Microbes that have developed antimicrobial resistance can be transferred to humans as some of them can survive the treatments, contaminating foods during handling and even being ingested through undercooked meat.

In addition, the impact of medication residues on the human body has been widely discussed.


Organic agriculture and Nature Farming: alternatives in poultry production

GMO-Free Chicken - Breeding

The Nature Farming, method advocated by Mokichi Okada (Japan, 1882-1955), favors the perfect balance between human health, animal welfare, care with the farmers and use of natural resources.

Based on this philosophy, Korin was founded in 1994. A Brazilian company pioneer in the production of chickens and eggs free of antibiotics, anticoccidials and other medications commonly used in conventional faming systems.

Following Nature Farming principles, the company does not use any chemical substances during rearing, in any bird’s life stage. The result is the production of healthy, vital energy-rich foods.

The veterinary treatment is restricted to herbal or homeopathic products. Young birds are vaccinated against coccidiosis, which avoids antimicrobial resistance and promotes a natural control of the disease. Also, the vaccine strain remains viable in the environment for long periods of time, ensuring immunization and protection.

The organic chickens are reared in sheds with maximum density of 10 kg/m2 and free access to water and outdoor areas, where they can manifest their natural behavior such as scratching the ground, living in community, running, sun bathing, flapping their wings and perching.

The birds are fed high-quality feeds produced using certified organic grains and free of genetically modified or animal-based ingredients. This is a balanced diet full of nutrients.

Also, the hens are submitted to at least 8 hours of darkness, which together with the other measures contributes to stress reduction.

Thus, by reducing the contact of the birds with stressing agents and promoting their health we can not only guarantee a better animal welfare, but also eliminate the use of antibiotics and anticoccidials.

Differentials of Korin Boa Pedida (Good Choice) chickens

Differentials of Korin Boa Pedida (Good Choice) chickens


NAAU to help you choose products that are free of any substances that could intentionally and abruptly affect bird’s physiology, including the ones allowed by law, Korinhas created the NAAU (No Antibiotics and No Anticoccidials Used) seal withsupport from the Brazilian Association of Alternative Poultry Production (AVAL) and Mokichi Okada Research Center (CPMO);


Nature Farming from Mokichi Okada this seal ensures that the production follows the principles of Nature Farming, method created by Mokichi Okada;


HUMANE BRASIL certificationthis certification guarantees that poultry farming follows a strict animal welfare protocol, including balanced nutrition, shelter, resting areas and spaces that allow the manifestation of animal’s natural behavior.


Korin offers a line of sustainable organic products. Know them here.

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