A farm feeding chickens with marijuana as a substitute of antibiotics is fetching greater costs from shoppers looking for natural poultry, researchers say

A worker prepares chicken meat for sell at Khlong Toei market in Bangkok.  The Department of Livestock Development is keeping a close watch on the spread of the H5N6 avian influenza after the World Health Organization has warned of a possible outbreak following recent infection cases in China.

A employee prepares hen meat at Khlong Toei market in Bangkok.Adisorn Chabsungnoen/SOPA Pictures/LightRocket through Getty Pictures

  • A farm in Thailand has began feeding its chickens with hashish as a substitute of antibiotics.

  • Researchers from Chiang Mai College say the experiment is exhibiting constructive indicators.

  • The chickens are fetching double the same old worth from shoppers in search of natural poultry.

A farm rising medical marijuana in northern Thailand has been feeding its free-range chickens with hashish as a substitute of antibiotics, and researchers stated the experiment has yielded promising outcomes.

Researchers from Chiang Mai College’s Division of Animal and Aquatic Sciences stated fewer than 10% of the 1,000 chickens on the farm in Lampang have died since they launched pot to the chickens’ food plan in January 2021.

Whereas the research’s findings are nonetheless underneath evaluation and solely cowl one yr’s price of analysis, Chompunut Lumsangkul, an assistant professor who led the research, informed Insider that the hashish feed seems to be working. The speed for the chickens on the farm has been the identical as in common seasons when there’s not a extreme outbreak of any bird-killing illnessshe stated.

The birds’ particular meals is produced by including crushed hashish to their feed and water, stated Lumsangkul. No antibiotics and medicines are fed to or used on the chickens throughout this time.

Moreover wholesome chickens, the experiment has additionally allowed the farm to promote its birds for greater costs to shoppers looking for natural poultry.

The birds are fetching double the common worth, at about $1.50 per pound, principally as a result of patrons need natural chickens that have not been administered antibiotics, Lumsangkul stated. She additionally claimed that the chickens’ meat — which they name “GanjaChicken” — is extra tender and tastes higher than common chickens.

“Shoppers in Thailand have been being attentive to this as a result of demand is rising for chickens and plenty of farmers have to make use of antibiotics. So some prospects wish to discover a safer product,” the assistant professor stated.

The farm in Lampang primarily grows cannabis as one of its major products but also keeps chickens.

The farm in Lampang primarily grows hashish as one in all its main merchandise but in addition raises chickens.CHOMPUNUT LUMSANGKUL

As a part of the experiment, Lumsangkul stated her analysis workforce would typically give the chickens bolstered ranges of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the substance in marijuana that provides customers a excessive — that went previous the authorized limits for people in Thailand.

Earlier this month, the Thai authorities legalized the sale of hashish merchandise however restricted the quantity of THC within the objects one can eat to 0.2%. By comparability, the chickens on the farm would typically rise up to 0.4%, Chompunut stated.

“I am unable to say the hashish does not let the chickens get excessive, however they exhibit regular habits,” she stated.

A few dozen black chickens are seen in a farmer's hut.

The farm has over 1,000 chickens which were fed with hashish since January final yr.CHOMPUNUT LUMSANGKUL

Lumsangkul famous that it is not instantly clear what the total advantages of feeding chickens hashish are, neither is it recognized why the hashish is protecting the birds wholesome within the first place. Nonetheless, she stated it is doubtless that marijuana has bioactive compounds or substances that promote metabolic exercise and higher well being circumstances, that are boosting the birds’ immune methods.

The research has solely been a “screening take a look at” to this point and the researchers have but to check if the hashish feed works to guard the chickens in opposition to chicken flu or different extreme illnesses, stated Lumsangkul.

As for whether or not folks can get excessive from consuming cannabis-fed chickens, Lumsangkul stated there’s “no means” this might occur. The THC is totally metabolized within the hen’s physique earlier than slaughter, so its kind is totally modified by the point it will get to the desk, she stated.

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