Science: Case of the Barren Mink

The U.S. Department of Agriculture once advised chicken raisers to dose broiler pullets with the synthetic hormone stilbestrol. The drug stops the growth of ovaries in pullets, turns them into the fat, tender female equivalent of capons, which fetch a premium price.

Agriculture said further that stilbestrol should be administered as a pellet thrust under the skin of the pullet's neck. If the head and neck were removed, according to instructions, before the broiler was marketed, no human chicken-eater would get the remains of the pellet. To avoid waste, the department suggested feeding the...

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