Farmers feed cannabis to chickens in northern Thailand

Chickens at a farm in Lampang, northern Thailand, are in a “good mood” after the antibiotics in their chicken feed were replaced with cannabis. Not only are the chickens showing higher immunity against disease, but they also have a lower body fat percentage than usual, making for a delicious Khao Man Gai – or chicken rice – according to one Chiang Mai restaurant, which regularly buys chicken from the farm.

Cannabis was delisted as a Category 5 narcotic on June 9, making the plant available for medical and commercial use in Thailand. Petch Lanna Organic Agriculture Community Enterprise in Chae Hom District, Lampang province, is licensed to grow medical cannabis. The farm said that during processing, a lot of cannabis remnants are left over, so they decided to trial feeding it to their chickens, with support from Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Agriculture.

Since the start of the experiment, the chickens have developed higher immunity against avian bronchitis, which was previously a big problem at the farm. The farm previously tried to fight the disease by injecting the chickens with antibiotics, but it didn’t work nearly as well as cannabis, according to the farmers.

The farm has now completely done away with antibiotics and chemicals, mixing only cannabis into the chicken feed. The chickens are reportedly much less stressed, which is leading them to have less bodyfat, making their meat more delicious.

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One Khao Man Gai – or chicken rice – restaurant in Chiang Mai regularly buys chicken from the farm. Since the chickens began eating cannabis, the chicken meat is less greasy and more tender, said the restaurant owner. The shop said that with the improved chicken, they are making 5000 – 8000 baht per day in profit.

The enterprise has been selling chicken meat for 100 baht per kilo and eggs for 6 baht a piece via its website.

The National Farmers Council is supportive of the endeavour, with president Prapat Panyachatrak warning that antibiotics in chicken meat and eggs can be harmful to human health. The cannabis-fed chicken meat is not only safer, but boosts the commercial value of the chicken too, he added.


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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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