Reprimand Poultry Industry for Inhumane Treatment of Chicks


Target: Mitch Head, Spokesperson for The United Egg Producers

Goal: Admonish hatchery for supporting inhumane treatment of baby chicks

A video obtained by Chicago-based animal rights group Mercy for Animals uncovered a horrific scene of unwanted baby chicks being ground up alive in a massive, industrial meat grinder. The footage, shot at an Iowa egg hatchery called Hy-Line, was captured by a Mercy for Animals undercover employee who got a job at the plant to expose the hatchery’s inhumane treatment of male chicks.

The video, which was shot by an inconspicuous camera and used hidden microphones, shows a Hy-Line worker “sorting” baby chicks on a conveyor belt while the distressed chicks chirped, flapped and tried desperately to regain their balance and escape the roaring sweep of the grinding machine. As the video progresses, workers are shown dropping uncooperative baby chicks into the grinder while others squirm on the factory floor amid heaps of egg shells. The footage even captures chicks, scalded by a wash cycle, falling through the sorting machine and left to die in piles of eggs that have failed to hatch.

When confronted with allegations of animal abuse and violation of animal welfare the Hy-Line hatchery offered little comment calling its actions “instantaneous euthanasia,” regarding the shoveling of male chicks into the grinder, as a standard practice that is supported by various veterinary and scientific communities.

According to Mercy for Animals, male chicks are of no use to the meat and poultry industry because they do not lay eggs nor do they grow large or quick enough to support the demand. To make matters more sobering, the apathetic and nonchalant explanation by spokesperson Mitch Head of The United Egg Producers in support of Hy-Line’s inhumane practices is a glimpse into the nasty ideologies of America’s meat and poultry industry as he simply states that there’s “no market, no need” for male chicks.

With more than 200 million male chicks killed by Hy-Line facilities every year, it’s about time someone called them out. Sign this petition to tell Hy-Line and Mitch Head to end their cruel and torturous practices against baby chicks now.


Dear Mr. Head,

Your recent support of the Hy-Line hatching facilities practice of grinding male chicks is disheartening and angering. There is no real evidence that supports Hy-Line’s claim that its procedures to execute male chicks is of a standard practice that is encouraged by veterinary and scientific communities. What veterinarian or scientist would uphold such inhumane behavior?

From the day they are born, baby chicks endure stress, fear and pain as a result of your industry’s constant force to meet ridiculously unhealthy demands. From force feeding to growth hormones, baby chicks endure unnatural progression just so they can end up on the breakfast plate of an oblivious consumer. You and Hy-Line facilities should be thoroughly ashamed for the cruel and unusual punishment you’ve inflicted on innocent male chicks. There is no way that the inhumane execution of animals could ever be justified.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Keith Weller via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Jenna Miles is totally correct. Even the growing trend towards keeping “backyard hens” feeds into this gory system – where do people think chickens (female OR male) are supplied FROM?…and often, even via SNAIL-MAIL!!

  2. The utter lack of respect for living creatures & barbaric, inhumane treatment of chicks by the poultry industry is completely unacceptable. Stop this barbaric practice now!
    “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr

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