Wednesday Wisdom: Difference Between Desi Chicken And Broiler Chicken
This week I blogged about Chicken Yakhni Pulao (Chicken Pilaf) mentioning desi chicken and broiler chicken which generated a few questions about the difference between the two types, which would be better and nutritional benefits etc. Personally, I try to avoid debating over such topics which are already being discussed by researchers so I’ll keep it as simple as possible and will highlight on basic information and general knowledge. This post is based a little on my personal knowledge and mostly on different websites and pages that I Googled for better understanding. Today’s pictures aren’t taken by the post author and these are free downloads from unsplash.com and pixabay.com.
Desi Chicken/ Country Chicken:
(pic by unsplash.com)
While growing up I saw many households raising chickens in their backyards or even rooftops and this practice is still on where people have enough space and resources to manage this small scale breeding. The purpose of keeping poultry is to have organic eggs and chicken meat. Some breed and raise chicken as small scale business as well. Desi chicken/country chicken are basically raised in open space and in natural environment. They have enough space to run around and grow naturally. They scratch ground and dirt for worms and insects plus get natural feed, like corn, bread, rice or other household scrap by their keepers. Such poultry live and grow under normal conditions like fighting each other over food, escaping predators which obviously have an impact on their muscle development. They have more muscle, less fat and the meat has more texture and deeper flavor. Since they are not bred for commercial purpose and their growth is natural, their meat take longer to cook (because of more muscle mass) and flavor is complex. Many people love this particular taste and texture and some people opt for desi chicken as an organic option. Being grown naturally their meat has a distinctive taste which is inconsistent as well plus such chicken is more expensive too.
Broiler Chicken/White Chicken:
(pic by pixabay.com)
This is what we are more familiar with; white chicken, kept in cages and grown in poultry farms for business purpose. Chickens are kept in restricted environment with not much space to move around and are given special feed. This is why they all taste the same. Since they don’t get much exercise, they are high in fat content with low muscle mass and this is why such meat get tender in shorter period of time. Broiler chicken is readily available and widely used across the world. The quality of meat is the same and it is guaranteed to be juicy and tender because they are raised and feed in a particular manner. Due to large scale breeding, this chicken is relatively cheaper. One main objection that is raised against such breeding is that poultry is being given hormones for rapid growth and fed with modified nutritional supplements. If breeding conditions are not up to the standards, chickens raised there will have weaker bone structure and will be at high risk of avian diseases but we can not be so sure whether a particular poultry farm has unhealthy breeding conditions or not because as consumers we are at the end of the supply chain. Another potential hazard associated with broiler chickens is the fact that they are sold and slaughtered very young and if they are raised on hormones and antibiotics, they can be harmful for human health, possibly causing early on set of puberty, infertility and incresed risk of cancer.
(pic by unsplash.com)
Free range desi chicken eggs contain 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, twice as much omega fatty acid, thrice as much Vitamin E, 4 times more Vitamin D and seven times as much beta carotene than broiler eggs.