The Horrifying Fate of Male Chicks in the Egg Industry

Eggs might seem like a less cruel food source than chickens or other meat products – after all, eggs are just a byproduct, not the body of the animal itself. But egg production comes with a steep price, especially when it comes to the horrifying fate of male chicks.

Sadly, innocent little yellow fluff balls who had the misfortune of being born male have no value to the egg industry, so they’re quickly destroyed. While it’s wildly disturbing, the most common method is to dump them into a machine, or macerator, that grinds them up alive after they’re separated from the females.

This week Australian-based groups Animal Liberation and Aussie Farms released heartbreaking footage taken at a hatchery in Victoria that offers a firsthand glimpse into just exactly what happens to these male chicks, or really what the real cost of a carton of eggs is.

Warning: The video below is graphic.

“If we imagine a chick in a blender, none of us would ever turn it on,” Emma Hurst, Animal Liberation’s campaign director, told the Sydney Morning Herald. “This is a gruesome death; they are fully capable of feeling pain, stress and fear.”

Despite their ability to suffer, according to groups,every year in Australia around 12 million male chicks are ground up or gassed on the first day of their lives.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a problem that’s specific to Australia, it’s a standard industry practice,  regardless of whether people are buying conventional, cage-free, free-range or organic eggs, or supporting backyard operations, which still source chicks from the same hatcheries  that supply major companies. In the end, it’s all the same for the males who are all killed.

The footage in Australia has renewed calls for ending this practice and transitioning to the use of in-ovo egg sexing, which determines the sex of the chick before they hatch, which has been promised in the U.S.

In June, United Egg Producers (UEP), which represents the hatcheries that produce an estimated 95 percent of all eggs produced in the U.S., announced that it would do this by 2020, or as soon as it is “commercially available and economically feasible.”

The announcement was applauded by some as a major victory for animals, but changing to this technology does nothing to fix the rest of the cruelty inherent in egg production.

The footage in this case goes on to cover what happens to the females, who will go on to endure the painful process of being debeaked before they’re eventually sent off to farms where they’ll be used to lay eggs until their bodies are too spent to keep producing. Once that happens, they’ll be killed at a fraction of their normal lifespan.

As Animal Liberation puts it, “Egg farming will always be cruel  – the most effective thing you can do to end all of this is to simply stop eating eggs and encourage others to do the same.”

For more info about this investigation, check out For more info on why we should pass on eggs altogether and show chickens more love and respect, check out United Poultry Concerns.

To demand an end to chick grinding, add your voice to this Care2 petition.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


John B
John B2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Melania Padilla
Melania P2 years ago

Signed and shared. I don't buy eggs from intensive farms but from neighbors who raise chickens, this cruelty is done by evil corporations who only care about money :(

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

This did not happen on family farms. Roosters may have made the stew pot early- but they were not ground up. Corporate farms are not farms they are evil factories.

Marty Price
Marty P2 years ago


Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 years ago


Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton2 years ago

I saw this happen on a site it was horrible!!

Dianne D.
Dianne D2 years ago

stop eating eggs and supporting this cruelty. For every egg you buy, you are saying it's OK to kill male chicks like this.

Ruth C.
Ruth C2 years ago

How sad to know that humans are doing something so horrible to innocent little animals!

Teresa Antela
Teresa Antela2 years ago

Petition signed of course.