Well, I can tell you what usually happens. An inordinate number of them end up in my pullet order as packing peanuts. <sigh> Seriously, I've seen so much pure garbage on Facebook that I don't pay any attention any more. Folks pick the most gruesome stuff they can find and post it for the shock value. It then gets shared and shared until it's taken as gospel. The young lady who was married to my grandson before he passed away is a total, confirmed vegan, which is fine with me. But I swear if she posts one more picture of dirty, cramped coops, malnourished chickens and poopy eggs, or one more video of botched home butchering on my wall I'm going to start posting pictures of bacon on hers.
The plain, sad truth is that cockerels are not in high demand. Most hatcheries do the best they can taking care of the surplus humanely, but I guess when you're looking at adorable little chicks it all seems cruel. What options do they have when order after order for pullets come in, very few people order straight run or roos only, and it's a crap shoot whether a hatch will be mostly one or the other? So those of us who end up with unwanted cockerels either re-home them (and those new homes are very hard to come by) or we cull them and put them in the freezer. I'm of the latter persuasion. So either way and either culled as new chicks, older chicks, or adults, the roos end up just as dead. The excess roosters are culled, either by the at home processor or, even worse, hoarded and used in cock fighting,which is a far crueler fate than feeding my family or being culled as very young babies. Having been faced with culling a brand new chick, and having culled many adult roosters for the freezer, I can tell you it's a lot tougher to look at that brand new, tiny little face and do it than it is to cull an adult. I don't envy the hatcheries one bit, and I'm sure not going to criticize them for doing what many of us end up doing later anyway. No matter what they do for mass cullings, someone's going to be upset.