Day-old Chicks

Day-old chicks: Death on the assembly line

How millions of male chicks die in egg production 


Did you know over 12 million male chicks in Australian egg industry are either grinded alive or gassed to death? Shortly after hatching, these day-old chicks are sorted out and killed because they are seen as unwanted by-products and uneconomical for the poultry industry 💔. 

The killing of day-old male chicks is a key problem in modern egg production. Billions of male chicks die every year because they are worthless to the egg industry: roosters do not lay eggs like their sisters, the laying hens. Yet they do not grow fast enough as broiler chickens for meat fattening. They are therefore considered an undesirable by-product. 

Sadly, these chicks are healthy animals. Unnecessarily killed for purely economic reasons.

Sustainable solutions for day-old chicks are urgently needed

FOUR PAWS calls for an end to the killing of male chicks. While there is a lot of research into sex determination to prevent male chicks from being born, we are critical of this method as this might block the way for the development of sustainable chicken farming. Furthermore, once identified as male chick embryos, the in-ovo sexed embryos are then still killed. Depending on the day of sexing, they can be already quite well developed.

Instead, we call for the industry to use dual purpose breeds and use the male offspring of laying hens for fattening. Currently, while millions of male chicks are being culled senselessly, millions of broiler chickens are fattened each year. Dual purpose breeds can be used for both, egg and meat production. Thus, no culling would be required, which is the most sustainable and humane solution to prevent killing of day-old male chicks.

The compassionate choice

On a global scale, the consumption of eggs and poultry meat is increasing every year. If everyone of us strives to make food a little bit kinder, collectively we have the power to positively influence the billions of lives all over the world. 

It does not take much to practice the 3Rs principle: Reduce, Refine and Replace. Choose to enjoy the variety of delicious animal-friendly food which do not contain eggs like this gingerbread cake, magic apple blossom puffs, or pea croquettes. Did you know you can also make a vanilla cheesecake without eggs? Find out more here.

Eat Kinder to end male-chick culling and factory farming



has been working for decades to improve conditions of farm animals


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