Behold the featherless chicken, created by Scientists at the genetics faculty at the Rehovot Agronomy Institute near Tel Aviv, Israel.The idea behind the development of this naked bird is that it will create a more ‘convenient’ and energy efficient chicken which can live in warm countries where feathered chickens don’t do well and cooling systems are too expensive to be commonly affordable. Not growing feathers saves energy that can be used to grow meat.
Critics say the feather-free chickens will suffer more than normal birds. Males might be unable to mate, because they cannot flap their wings, and “naked” chickens of both sexes are more susceptible to parasites, mosquito attacks and sunburn.
The chicken is “disgusting”, says Joyce D’Silva of Compassion in World Farming. “It’s a prime example of sick science and the suggestion that it would be an improvement for developing countries is obscene.”
“Factory farming is such an inappropriate technology for developing countries because it uses scarce resources like water, electricity and grain that could be used for human consumption, to produce meat that only the middle classes can afford.”
The bird is not genetically modified – it comes from a natural breed whose characteristics have been known for 50 years. Read more at NewScientist.