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Chicks on conveyer belt slaughter

Billions of baby birds face death on the day they are born simply because their lives are not profitable. Please sign the petition to end this massacre.

Baby chicks killed for deemed “worthless”

Billions of birds face death on the day they are born simply because their lives are not profitable. In the United States, around 260 million male chicks are killed each year. This means around 30,000 freshly hatched chicks every hour.

Why is this happening? Male chicks cannot lay eggs, and they are not the same breed of chicken used for meat. As a result, these baby animals are deemed worthless by the egg industry and are brutally killed, using extremely cruel techniques.

Unfortunately, all of this is completely legal.

Baby chicks

How male chicks are killed

One commonly used killing method is maceration. The male chicks are transferred to a machine called a grinder and are killed by “shredding.” The birds are alive and fully conscious as they are violently shredded into pieces. In some parts of the world, shredding chicks alive is prohibited.

Other chicks are burned, crushed, or drowned, as our undercover investigations have documented. Another common method for killing these chicks is suffocating them with carbon dioxide gas. This, too, is cruel—a recent study found that birds show behavioral signs of suffering during this process—.

In the U.S., some chicks are also killed by electrocution.

Whatever method is used, killing newborn baby chicks should be banned.

The technology that can spare millions of birds

An alternative, called “in-ovo sexing,” is currently in development to bring this horrific practice to an end.

France has pledged to outlaw the practice of culling unwanted male chicks by the end of 2021.

The German Agriculture Minister announced that the culling of day-old male chicks will be outlawed from 2022.

The aim of in-ovo sexing is to prevent male chicks from hatching in the first place: the sex of the embryo is established before the hatching date (in the egg, hence ‘in-ovo’ sexing). The male eggs are removed from incubation early on, so only female chicks emerge from the eggs after 21 days of incubation

Worldwide, there are various approaches that can make the killing of male chicks a thing of the past.

Baby chicks in a hatchery

Seeing these innocent newborns slaughtered so violently in the moments after they are born is too much to bear. Shredding chicks alive must be banned.

Undercover investigator
Animal Equality


Let’s End ANIMAL Cruelty

Animal Equality is an international organization working with society, governments, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals.

Our investigations are a fundamental pillar within our mission to create a world where all animals are protected and respected.