The growth rate of broilers (meat chickens) occurs naturally due to selective breeding, optimal nutrition, management and husbandry.
Selective breeding is the selection of only the fittest, most efficient and strongest birds to produce the next generation. Broilers have been selectively bred over the past 60 years for growth rate, health, disease resistance and to be highly efficient at transforming feed into meat, which is why they reach their optimal market weight and quality much more quickly than their ancestors.
Broilers are typically 31 to 50 days old at their market weight. We (Ingham’s) use genetic breeds that have been intentionally selected for improved leg strength and we measure gait scores on farms to monitor this.