June 10, 2016

"Egg producers pledge to stop grinding newborn male chickens to death."

"It’s a disturbing practice most Americans probably know nothing about..." (WaPo link.)
On the day they’re born, all the fluffy male chicks born to egg-laying hens at hatcheries are gruesomely killed — usually by being run, while conscious, through what is essentially a blender....

What’s the alternative? The main one is called in-ovo sexing, and it identifies the gender of a future chick inside a fertilized egg. The technology, developed in Germany and the Netherlands, will mean those male chicks will never be born....

34 comments:

eric said...

Don't we run human babies through blenders while they are still in the womb? Human babies still in the woman are much much much more valuable than any chicken.

surfed said...

And that explains McNuggets.

fivewheels said...

"What's the alternative?"

Surely there's some way to turn them into biscuit sandwiches.

I didn't see the answer when I skimmed the article ... after they run the blender, what do they do with the "chick smoothie"?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

On a farm you would either wring the male chicks necks or otherwise dispose of them. You might, maybe, keep one for a while and then have a stewed chicken dinner or two.

Too many roosters and you end up with fighting, pecked and featherless chickens, stressed out hens and a massive amount of crowing. All.Day.Long. And that's when you only have a few roosters. Imagine thousands of the fighting beasts crowded in one place. Impossible to happen. SO unless some one wants to come and adopt a million rooster chicks, there is no other choice.

I don't think about the fact that I am eating unborn chickens when I make an omelet either.

YoungHegelian said...

Okay, all you chicken raisin' mavens, here a question:

When are male chickens castrated to make a "capon"?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I know!!! Instead of grinding the newborn chicks they could do some snuff porn films and have women in high heels stomping them to death. Or....maybe not.

BTW: a newly hatched chick is not that cute fluffy chicken you see around Easter time. They are ugly as sin. Look like little dinosaurs. So if you keep THIS image in your mind instead of the cuddly soft baby chick, perhaps you guys might feel a little better about the reality of raising a zillion chickens at a time.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

...identifies the gender...

Gosh! The practice in this country now is to wait till at least Kindergarten for a human to establish gender identity.

Or does the author perhaps mean "sex" rather than "gender?" The article does refer to "male chicks" rather than "masculine chicks."

Gahrie said...

I've seen a gif of the process...it's over very quick..probably don't feel anything.

Meeeea said...

Send them to B&M Gates, maybe they can ship them to the poor little women they said could toil as poultry farmers to improve their lot in life.

n.n said...

Planned Poultry.

Kerani said...

The process of macerating male chicks is taking a chick and putting it into a high-speed grinder that - in less than a second - producing something that is no longer a chick. It is a pain-free death - think of having cut yourself with a sharp knife. It is a few seconds before you realize it hurts. By that time, the chick's brain is no longer functional. Perhaps a messy thing to think on, but effective.

The resulting mash may be feed as chicken meal to pets, or further processed as a cooked and dried protein supplement for other animal feed. (If not fed on, the ground chicks would go into the landfill, and the protein requirements for those animals would have to be met by increased amounts of soybean or other expensive feed ingredient.) It's not fed to people because the chicks have not been inspected by USDA inspectors.

This chick separating process is done the day of hatch for egg-laying birds, not for meat birds. Egg laying birds are smaller and genetically selected to lay eggs, not to put on muscle meat. The males are not useful for meat, and every pound of grain that was fed to them is largely wasted - every pound of grain, plus the energy to grind the grain and to transport it, to plow the field that the grain was grown on, and the small animals (mice, beetles, ground birds, etc) whose lives were disturbed or destroyed to grow that grain. Feeding animals in an inefficient manner wastes lives of other animals, as well as other resources.

Before genetic breeding allowed male chicks to be identified so early, the young male roosters were no more useful, and were killed (relatively painlessly) as soon as they could be identified, but not before they had eaten feed, received vaccinations, and used barn space that could have been put to better use.

Female egg laying hens, however, spend their early lives living in an open-floor barn, with specific diets, shelter from rain, snow, and heat, and constant fresh water. The amount of light they get is controlled so that they don't begin to lay too early when their bodies are too young. When they are about four and a half months old, the whole flock from that barn is moved to another barn. There the hens are separated into small groups (six to ten) and housed together. The timing of the move is so that they will have time to get used to their cagemates, a new diet with more calcium, and a change in lighting before they start laying at about five months.

Then they will go on to lay about an egg a day for about ten months. At that point, they may be rested by inducing molt (changing the diet and light) when they will lay again for another three to five months. At that point, the rate of lay has decreased across the whole flock that they are to the point of wasting feed again. So now those birds are collected from their cages and sent to become canned chicken.

As for the question about capons - yes, it used to be the practice to "steer" male chickens, when all we had was 'chickens' and not so much birds bred to put on muscle. Some places still do this. However, the practice is...controversial, as chickens (unlike mammals like cows and sheep) have their gonads deep inside, right next to the kidneys and the abdominal aortas. To make a capon, the caponizer cuts the bird without anesthesia (because none of those drugs are approved for use in poultry) reaches into the body cavity with their fingers or a pinching tool (somewhat like pliers) and pulls out the two small testes (which look kinda like navy beans, only smaller). The former roosters survive this better than one would think, but a 25 to 15% loss of the group of roosters is not uncommon.

Hagar said...

They are "little dinosaurs."

Earnest Prole said...

troll level: expert

James L. Salmon said...

Eric nails my thoughts on the matter while Kerani brings the big brain answer.

Wilbur said...

You want them kept alive, you take them.

I do like an expertly-stewed chicken. Mmmmmm. Pollo asado.

Meeeea said...

So they've invented a method to ID sex pre-hatching. Great. Probably uses some sort of radiation. You'd think the free-ranger organic chicken-rights people would not want to eat those. And did they ever stop to consider the carbon footprint of electronically peeking into literally trillions of eggs annually? Idiots.

The other solution talked about in the article was (I guess by genetically altering the species?) to make male eggshells come out a different color. They won't want GMO'd eggs either!

And, as a (brave) WaPo commenter said, they get ground up when you chew them anyhow!

EDH said...

Egg producers pledge to stop grinding newborn male chickens to death.

While human males are ground-down much more gradually in the gyno-centric public school system.

Bob Boyd said...

"...what do they do with the "chick smoothie"?"

Rooster butter and jelly samwich. Mmmm.

walter said...

Gahrie said...I've seen a gif of the process
--
That someone took the time to make that..maybe a screen saver next.

Meeeea said...

And speaking of sex identification, this below, unless the child was born a hermaphrodite, is child abuse: (transitioning began in Kindergarten!)

" A lawsuit was filed today ... challenging the Justice Department and Department of Education's interpretation of Title IX as it applies to transgender students. ... today's suit focuses on accommodation, inconsistent with the new federal guidelines, already made by one school for a transgender student. The student began transitioning from male to female identity between kindergarten and first grade.

The school allows the student to use single use staff restrooms, and encourages others students in the class to do likewise. The student's legal custodian has complained, and the Department of Education has investigated and proposed that the school change its policy to allow the transgender student to use sex-specific facilities. ...

"Highland has acceded, and will continue to accede, to the requests of Student A’s legal custodian to respect Student A’s gender-identity choice by not interfering with Student A’s current gender expression. But Highland will not accede to requests that adversely impact the dignity, privacy, safety, well-being, or rights of other students.

If the government were to deny federal funding because of a violation of Title IX, this would cost the school district $1.12 million.""

Via religionclauseblogspot and ADFmedia.org.

Ambrose said...

...will eat them instead.

dreams said...

Bull calves don't have a good fate either.

"Why is early castration of bull calves important?

1. Reduced aggressiveness and sexual activity by lowering testosterone levels

2. Decreased number of "dark cutters" due to high muscle pH

3. Higher quality grade-more consistent, marbled, and tender beef

4. Steer carcasses command higher prices at market"

And for the elite human male there is Title IX.

The Godfather said...

Shouldn't they defer to the hen's choice?

Gahrie said...

Here's a link.....warning it is literally chicks being chewed up...don't look if it will offend/upset you....

http://imgur.com/UIiOddy

Fernandinande said...

Genetically engineered Frankenchicken

SteveBrooklineMA said...

"run, while conscious, through what is essentially a blender" They aren't conscious about what's happening. I've seen videos, and they are homogenized so quickly there is no time for awareness. I've seen some older videos which were more brutal... really did look like they used one of those old-fashioned corkscrew style meat grinders. I hope those are a thing of the past.

In any case, if they can keep the males from developing in the first place, I'd welcome the change.

Dude1394 said...

Social Justice Political Correctness comes to food creation. Wonderful....

Trump 2016

Smilin' Jack said...

What’s the alternative? The main one is called in-ovo sexing, and it identifies the gender of a future chick inside a fertilized egg. The technology, developed in Germany and the Netherlands, will mean those male chicks will never be born....

Not once the right-to-life wackos get wind of this. "Every fertilized egg is a chicken being!"

Dude1394 said...

Oh I do not think it is the right to life folks who are fussing about this. I expect it is the limousine liberals.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Male chickens are not the backbone of the hatchery.

Gahrie said...

Not once the right-to-life wackos get wind of this

Us "right-to-life wackos" are concerned with human life. It is the Leftwing wackos that prefer to worry about animal life.

rhhardin said...

It's a side effect of banning fox-fur coats.

Rusty said...

I'm having difficulty mustering the mandatory amount of outrage.

iowan2 said...

A society that aborts millions of humans cannot care about grinding up new hatched chickens. This is idiocy.

The animal rights whackos are winning if the can succeed in convincing sentient people that animals have feeling and emotions on par with humans. that a fresh hatched chick has more value that a baby at 15 weeks gestation.