Germany has already done so and France is following suit.
The main obstacle at this point is retrofitting hatcheries with the necessary equipment but I think within a few years, chick culling will be eliminated world wide.
The process is called in ovo sexing, which can be done by the 9th day of in ovo development. At that point, any unwanted male eggs are sent for rendering. And with rapid advancements of technology, that could be reduced down to the 3rd day.
The process is beneficial beyond simple issues of humanness.
Companies will be able to dispense with chick sexers and all the labor cost that entails.
Additionally, companies will not be paying to incubate useless eggs.
An even more exciting technology is on the horizon, the potential to “re-sex” male eggs to female to increase production. That is still quite a few years away, however.
My company is already busy helping to implement this technology in United States hatcheries and worldwide.
It’s still killing the male chicken, whether in-ovo or after hatching.
I don’t understand the problem with day-old culling though. As long as the chicks are euthanized in a humane manner, it’s no different from killing them when they are still in the egg. (Although yes, I see a utilitarian purpose for the in-ovo culling. If “rendering” puts the content of the egg into some sort of animal feed, for instance, or puts them to some other use, then there is more utility in that, compared to having dead fuzz-and-bone chicks to dispose of.)
The NYT actually did a really good video piece on our industrial chicken farms, and how awful they are. They interviewed a farmer, and it explained how farmers are essentially held hostage by big chicken companies due to their contracts.
I’d post the video but it’s pretty gross, so I don’t know if I could.
Yeah… I do. And when in Maine I try to purchase directly from the small farms… but all of those farms are getting hit with finding PFAS in everything because the government a couple of decades ago incentivized spreading sludge for fertilizer .
“Cage free” is actually defined by the government. It means the birds have basic freedom of movement within an enclosed area, but no access to the outside or natural sunlight. The birds have free access to food and water. And still pretty crowded, with 2 square feet per bird.
If you see this or a variant of this on a package of chicken or eggs:
“Vegetarian fed hens” or “vegetarian fed” or something similar.
Anybody who has ever had even the smallest amount of experience with chickens in a pastoral setting knows that they are NOT vegetarians, not by a long shot.
Chickens are naturally omnivores and forage for their food. While they eat vegetation, they will more happily eat any form of animal they can overpower and swallow. Bugs, grubs, worms, slugs, frogs, lizards, snakes and even such small mammals as mice, moles and voles.
Chickens that have eaten a natural diet such as the above are healthier and more flavorful than commercially fed chickens and the eggs are far more flavorful. Pasture raised chickens produce the orange yolks.
My own chickens have access to the outdoors and a large area to forage. I use locally available feed that contains animal components such as fish and I provide appropriate table scraps.
But manufactures put that line on packages and consumers continue to fall for it.