Chickens or Gallus gallus domesticus, have been subject to selective breeding and in-vitro fertilization for decades as humans have modified the entire species to be more useful to us.
Technologies Leading Up
Selective breeding was created to produce more desirable offspring within a species (chickens that could lay more eggs and contain more meat), while in-vitro fertilization was created to also improve offspring but through a complicated process of surrogation rather than through selective natural reproduction.
Selective breeding was first patented as a scientific practice in the 18th century by Robert Bakewell, but it has been going on for thousands of years. In-vitro fertilization for poultry was first perfected in 1991 using the Naito-Perry system.
There were no technologies leading up to selective breeding as it has been going on for thousands of years, but one technology leading up to in-vitro fertilization for poultry, was in-vitro fertilization for humans which was created by Robert Edwards in the 1970s. This process was then altered by many to create the system we have today for poultry.
Selective breeding and in-vitro fertilization for poultry are helpful because they produce chickens that can lay over 250 eggs a year while their ancestors would only lay two dozen annually. These technologies also produce much larger chickens that contain more meat.
Despite their usefulness, these technologies also do a lot of harm to this species. They can render chickens unable to move after only 6 weeks of life because they have so much more meat on them that their bones are unable to lift. These methods can also increase the risk of disease and lead to inbreeding which causes disabilities amongst the species.