Naturally chickens have feathers but you won’t believe this bare-skinned bird, a ready to cook featherless chicken! The world’s first featherless chicken was created by an Israeli geneticist, Avigdor Cahanerat at the genetics faculty at the Rehovot Agronomy Institute near Tel Aviv, Israel in 2002. This ugly naked bird was originally created from a broiler (which are the big, meaty ones) with a species that has a featherless neck.
This project’s aim is to create a more ‘convenient’ and energy efficient chicken. Convinient in ways that you wont be bothering and spending so much time to take off those feathers in which we do in normal chickens. The bird can also live in warm countries where feathered chickens don’t do well, thus money can be saved from those expensive cooling systems.
Somehow some opposed this idea, saying that those changes will not benefit the animals, but in fact make their lives miserable. Males have been unable to mate because they cannot flap their wings for balance, also affecting the females, and because of being featherless, chickens are more prone to parasites, mosquito attacks, skin diseases, temperature variations and sunburn.Those against this tinkering say scientists should not decide by human ‘logic’ what a chicken needs and doesn’t need; they are born with their bodies, feathers and all, for reasons.
Joyce D’Silva of Compassion in World Farming said “The chicken is disgusting”. “It’s a prime example of sick science and the suggestion that it would be an improvement for developing countries is obscene. To create an animal solely for the convenience of an industry is sick. Chickens would never have ‘evolved’ to be like this without human interference, nor would one survive if it had been born like this ‘naturally, so how is this not “engineering”?”
Defending the new breed, Professor Cahaner said “This is not a genetically modified chicken – it comes from a natural breed whose characteristics have been known for 50 years. I am just transferring that to fast growing broiler chickens. It’s a normal chicken except for the fact it has no feathers.” Hoping that the new breed will grow faster because of the lessser need in energy when growing feathers, these will also cause the chicken to grow larger being perfect for livestock. So far the featherless chicken has not reached the large “broiler’ size.