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May 17, 2023 45 mins

In the 1940s the U.S. Department of Agriculture and A&P supermarkets teamed up to hold a contest to see who could breed the meatiest, most efficient, most visually appealing chicken. 


  • Audio Productions inc. “The Chicken of Tomorrow.” Documentary. (1948).
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  • Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Robert Bakewell". Encyclopedia Britannica, 1 Jan. 2023, Accessed 21 April 2023.
  • Bugos, Glenn E. “Intellectual Property Protection in the American Chicken-Breeding Industry.” The Business History Review , Spring, 1992, Vol. 66, No. 1. Via JSTOR.
  • Cook, Robert E. et al. “How Chicken on a Sunday Became an Anyday Treat.” USDA. 1975.
  • Cornell University. “Backyard Revival: American Heritage Poultry.”
  • Elfick, Dominic. “A Brief History of Broiler Selection: How Chicken Became a Global Food Phenomenon in 50 Years.” Aviagen.
  • Horowitz, Roger. “Making the Chicken of Tomorrow: Reworking Poultry as Commodities and as Creatures, 1945-1990.” From “Industrializing Organisms.” Susan R. Schrepfer and Philip Scranton, editors. Routledge. 2003.
  • Killgrove, Kristina. “Ancient DNA Explains How Chickens Got To The Americas.” Forbes. 11/23/2017.
  • Laatsch, David R. “The ‘Chicken of Tomorrow.’” University of Wisconsin-Madison. Livestock Division of Extension.
  • Long, Tom. “Henry Saglio; his breeding knowhow changed poultry industry.” 12/26/2003.
  • McKenna, Maryn. “The Surprising Origin of Chicken as a Dietary Staple.” National Geographic. 5/1/2018.
  • Peters, Joris et al. “The biocultural origins and dispersal of domestic chickens.” PNAS. Vol. 119, No. 24. June 2022.
  • Short, Michael. “Delmarva’s $4.8 Billion Chicken Industry Was Accidentally Hatched 100 Years Ago.” Lancaster Farming. 2/19/2023.
  • Shrader H.L. “The Chicken-of-Tomorrow Program; Its Influence on ‘Meat-Type’ Poultry Production.” Poultry Science. Volume 31, Issue 1, 1 January 1952, Pages 3-10.
  • Wiehoff, Dale. “How the Chicken of Tomorrow became the Chicken of the World.” Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. 3/26/2013.

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