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Brazilians prefer super chicken to turkey

Chickens reared through genetic selection programmes have proven popular as an alternative to turkey for holiday celebrations this year in Brazil.

Biologists at Brazil's second-largest food processor, Perdigao, have created “Chester”, a chicken that costs less than a turkey and has more meat than a standard chicken.
Chester won two thirds of Brazil's poultry sales in the lead-up to, and during, the holiday season.
Consumers favour the bird because it's a less expensive alternative to turkey, which costs one third more per kilogram, and “Chester” also has tender meat and a great flavour, they say.
Arout 90 percent of Chester sales occur during the Christmas season, and sales are on a record pace this year, up 5 percent from 5 million in 2005, according to Ricardo Menezes, Perdigao's institutional relations director.
In 1979, Perdigao biologists went to the US in search of chickens with “superior genetic material”, said Ideraldo Luiz Lima, a biologist and the manager of Perdigao's agriculture department.
“We never use hormones in the birds,” he said. “What we did over many years was to pick the best birds for reproduction, feeding them natural grains, which gives the meat unrivaled tenderness.”

Editor WorldPoultry

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