- The Plate
By 2020, Male Chicks May Avoid Death By Grinder
The fate of male chicks in the egg industry has long been controversial. In-shell DNA technology to identify male embryos may ease concerns.
It’s one of the most jaw-dropping, least-known facts of American food production: to keep the egg industry running efficiently, hatcheries kill hundreds of millions of newborn male chicks every year.
And soon, it may not happen any more. Last week, the trade group United Egg Producers, which represents almost all of the egg industry in the United States, announced that it is committing over the next four years to new technology that will keep those chicks from having to be killed—by preventing them from ever being born.
The huge policy shift, which has the potential to reshape the egg industry, was negotiated and announced by The Humane League, a small farm-animal welfare nonprofit staffed by and focused on millennials. You