This paper traces the brief, though dynamic, history of industry breeding programs for meat-type chickens and turkeys in the context of the market demand-breeding interface. Although the degree of success of specific breeding programs is variable, in general they have contributed largely to the quantum changes that have occurred during the last fifty years in the ages and weights at which chickens and turkeys are marketed. Breeders capitalized on intense selection, development of specialized sire and dam lines and a lack of genotype-environment interactions to develop a hybrid that grows fast and is an excessive consumer of food. Attempts to circumvent the negative aspects of potentially overweight and obese parents have included both genetic and nongenetic procedures. Emphasis in this paper is given to the chicken with the turkey discussed on the basis of similarities and dissimilarities.

A. Cahaner, P. B Siegel

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume X. Breeding programs for swine, poultry, and fish., , 337–346, 1986
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