An animal rights group publicized a video Tuesday showing unwanted chicks being tossed alive into a grinder at an Iowa plant and accused egg hatcheries of being "perhaps the cruelest industry" in the world.
The group said that tossing male chicks, which have little value because they can't lay eggs or be raised quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat, into grinders is common industry practice. United Egg Producers, a trade group for U.S. egg farmers, confirmed that.
"There is, unfortunately, no way to breed eggs that only produce female hens," Head said. "If someone has a need for 200 million male chicks, we're happy to provide them to anyone who wants them. But we can find no market, no need."
Using a grinder, Head said, "is the most instantaneous way to euthanize chicks."
I'm hoping someone knowledgeable about chicken raising will chime in here. Is it accurate to say that male chicks can't be raised profitably for meat? Are there other possible uses for 200 million male chicks a year? Does a grinder truly provide an instantaneous death? As I said, I won't be watching the video but I'm assuming it's some kind of industrial grinder. I imagine the meat grinder I have in my kitchen would provide a slow, painful death for a live chick. And does anyone know what is done with the ground up chicks? I'm guessing livestock feed or pet food.