Germany first to ban mass culling of male chicks


  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,356 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It seems to me that it would make sense to allow them to reach maturity and use them for meat. I understand that it might not be an idea situation and would take work to arrange but it seems wasteful to me to just cull them. I feel like people much more intelligent than I are the ones making the decisions so my question is what am I missing that it isn't considered a good idea?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,210 admin

    @Michelle D I think the concern is just the sheer number that they are disposing of. The other thought is that when you are hatching layers (often naturally very skinny breeds which maximize egg laying), the males/cockerels will remain skinny as well, making for a lot of soup and no roaster-ready birds.

    A breeder will either sell off their extra cockerels, of which there are usually many, or butcher them. Most sell instead of butcher, I've found.

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 643 admin
    edited December 2021

    The problem is that the genetics for egg layers are bred to maximize egg production as @LaurieLovesLearning said. This on the other hand means it is economically not viable to raise the roosters as they as said are more lean than the classic meat bird genetics like Cornish cross or red rangers.

    But there is a solution from the past for this as there are heirloom strains that are selected and breed for having decent egg production as well as meat production.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,210 admin
    edited December 2021

    @Jens the Beekeeper I agree with the heritage breeds to a point. I raise a few of those breeds myself and of course, figure it is the best way to go as a small farm.

    But, the industry has no interest in the dual purpose breeds because they either want an obscene amount of eggs out of hens (thus no use for roosters and they often use hybrids instead of just a heritage leghorn, which is still skinny & not hardy), or unnaturally fast growing hybrids like Cornish cross, which is a fairly new cross, using specific heritage birds, which when crossed, are meant to grow too quickly and thrive on specific commercially prepared feed. These would never survive on their own. You can market both pullets & cockerels from these meat hybrids.

    If the industry raised heritage meat breeds, those take longer to mature (growth rate is usually the same), and they don't perform as well on prepared feeds as the hybrids. They don't want that. Industry wants instant & disposable. I think the biggest "cockerels as waste" issue lays with the egg industry, not necessarily the meat industry.

    Efficiency in getting to their end goal means everything. Being sensible is not a factor.

    They don't want birds that are hardy, forage well, do well for both of eggs & meat (but don't excell at either), hatch their own, have a good temperament, etc. They want what they view as highly efficient & quickly disposable.

  • Suburban Pioneer
    Suburban Pioneer Posts: 337 ✭✭✭

    Anybody who's seen videos of male chicks being dumped into giant trash bags to suffocate under the weight of their brothers or fed en masse into giant grinders and sprayed out over farm fields as "fertilizer' (with the occasional chick briefly escaping alive with things like wings cut off and stumbling around screaming) would be hard-pressed to admit that there's any justification for such mass cruelty. They're beings, not objects to be used. The real answer, of course, is to go back to old fashioned, honest small family farms where smaller numbers of animals could be properly managed. The common enemies are the relentless profit motive and abject lack of ethics, which should scare us because whatever we do to animals we eventually do to each other. Animals are just our 'practice' mode. Covid is an excellent example. I read an excellent piece on the scary parallels to Marek's disease, and how the entire multi-billion dollar global poultry industry from backyard chicks to corporate broiler farms is not basically in slavery to Big Pharma. Marek's was a manageable, mostly annoying, problem on real family farms but it blossomed into a multi-headed deadly global monster after the vaccine arrived. The same is going to happen with the covid vax. The reason the drug companies are so desperate to get it into kids is so they can release it as one more on the list of 'required' jabs for kids to have to attend public school. That insures another revenue stream. And, of course, if they can make the original disease so bad through genetically engineering us to be unable to withstand it while amping up its lethality, then we, like the poultry, will find ourselves unable to survive without the help of perpetual jabbing. I think the parallels between when happened with Mareks and what's happening with Covid are too similar to be ignored.