Science News

From Naked Scientists to Naked Chickens

Sat, 25th May 2002

Part of the show What is a Virus and How do Viruses Cause Disease - Stacey Efstathiou

How about an virtual oven ready chicken? An Israeli geneticist called Angdor Cahaner from The Rehovot Agronomy Institute, has blended a species of bare skinned chicken with no feathers, with a traditional chicken in the hope of creating a bird which doesn't need plucking. The meat on the birds is also leaner meat because they have less subcutaneous fat, because of the lack of feathers. One problem is that these bare chickens get sunburnt easily and are also prone to being attacked by mosquitoes, so they're not much use for open fields, and they would be unable to cope outside during a British winter. But since they use less energy keeping cool like an ordinary feathered chicken, they can channel the energy that they save into growing faster and larger.

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