Andrea Arbuckle, DVM, AVCA, Wyatt Fecther, Rachel Hendricks, Tate Stewart, Hannah Whetstone, Dakota Wiseman
Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ November 21, 2023 ~ Volume 2023 ~ Pages 150-153
Background: The potential for chiropractic adjustments in livestock has been explored for its potential benefits on the overall health, growth rate, and meat quality. Previous studies have indicated that chiropractic adjustments could enhance palatability and overall well-being of livestock. However, its effects on commercial poultry production and sustainable agriculture remain unclear.
Materials and Methods: 50 broiler chickens were acquired as hatchlings and assigned to two groups: Adjusted (ADJ) and Control (CON). The ADJ group received chiropractic adjustments while the CON group did not. Both groups were kept under identical conditions in terms of housing, feeding, and care at the residence of experienced poultry farmers. At sixty-five days of age, the chickens were harvested. Their weights were recorded, and meat from both groups underwent a blind taste test involving 32 participants at a local county fair.
Results: Initial weights of both groups were almost identical. Within the first eight days, the CON group reported a 12% mortality rate, while the ADJ group had a 0% mortality rate. At harvest, the ADJ group had a total live weight of 56.88kg and a dressing percentage of 66%. In comparison, the CON group had a total live weight of 50.68kg with a 64% dressing percentage. In the taste test, 75% preferred the ADJ group’s chicken citing reasons such as juiciness, tenderness, and better flavor. Only 16% preferred the CON group, and 9% found no difference.
Conclusions: Chiropractic adjustments in broiler chickens seem to positively influence mortality rates, overall weight, and meat quality. If the results are replicable in commercial environments, the reduction in mortality and the potential for antibiotic demand could be significant. However, challenges like the availability of certified animal chiropractors pose a barrier to large-scale implementation. Further large-scale studies are needed to validate these findings in commercial poultry production and assess the broader implications for sustainable agriculture.
Key Words: animal chiropractic, chicken, rate of gain, palatability, vertebral subluxation