United Poultry Concerns  

The Experimental Use of Chickens and Other Birds in Biomedical and Agricultural Research

By Karen Davis, PhD © 2003.

The Experimental Use of Chickens and Other Birds in Biomedical and Agricultural Research by Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns, was graciously funded by the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS), a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to ending animal experimentation. United Poultry Concerns, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. Permission to use material from this report is granted on condition of acknowledgement.

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 50, Machipongo, VA 23405-0150 USA  telephone: (757)-678-7875  | www.upc-online.orginfo@upc-online.org |

New England Anti-Vivisection Society
333 Washington Street, Suite 850, Boston, MA 02108-5100 USA telephone: (617) 523-6020 | www.neavs.org  | info@neavs.org  |

United Poultry Concerns gratefully acknowledges the research assistance provided by Mary Finelli, the editor of Farmed Animal Net, which can be found on the Web at www.farmedanimal.net.


  1. Introduction: Millions of Birds are Used in Research

  2. History and Definition of Birds as Animal Models

  3. Birds Used in Biomedical Research   
    • Sclerosis and Fibrosis Experiments
    • Diet and Nutrition Experiments
    • Muscular Dystrophy and Muscular Performance Experiments
    • Visual Impairment Experiments
    • Surgical Experiments
    • Sex-Change Experiments
    • Organ Development and Deformity Experiments
    • Trans-Species Brain Transplants
    • Aging Experiments
    • Pain Experiments

  4. Birds Used in Chemical, Toxicological, Virus Detection, Space Shuttle, and Classroom Tests
    • Smoke Inhalation Experiments
    • Drug Testing
    • Classroom Experiments
    • Space Shuttle Experiments
    • Gulf War Chemicals Experiments
    •  Virus Detection: Chickens Used as Sentinels

  5. Birds Used In Agricultural Research
    • Vivisection and the Poultry and Egg Industries
    • USDA Bibliography: Stress in Poultry Experiments
    • Shell-less Egg Experiment on Hens Using Balloons and Tampons
    • Chickens as a Model for Prenatal Mammalian Stress in Factory Farming
    • Partial Beak Amputation Experiments
    • Contact Lens Experiments
    • Behavioral Experiments to Fit Birds to Factory Farming
    • Forced Molting (Food Deprivation) Experiments
    • Feather Pulling Experiments
    • Featherless Chicken Experiments

  6. Genetic Engineering and Cloning of Domestic Fowl
    • To Develop and Refine Experimental Methodologies & Technologies
    • To Produce Pharmaceuticals
    • To Exploit Profitable Poultry “Meat” Traits
    • Misery of Modern “Meat” Birds
    • Cloning of Chickens for the Poultry Industry

  7. Conclusion: Night of the Living Dead for Birds
    • The Blind Chicken Solution
    • The Headless Chicken Solution
  8. NOTES

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