What do hatcheries do with the males?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DIYgirl, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. DIYgirl

    DIYgirl In the Brooder

    May 19, 2015
    Harford Township, PA
    Hello, All,
    Yes, I know they cull them. Not freaking out about that, but I saw a photo (on Facebook) of workers at an unnamed hatchery dumping hundreds of male chicks into metal barrels in winter behind the building, leaving them to freeze to death. I have not ordered from a hatchery ever because of this practice - it is absolute cruelty.

    I live in PA and would like to know of humane hatcheries out there. I appreciate your time in advance!
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    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. [​IMG]

    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.
    16 people like this.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    I've seen those videos too they are heartbreaking but I do still order from hatcheries.I'd perfer to think those happenines are rare. I'm a HUGE animal lover but sadly, I can't have roos either. if I could I'd have a animal refuge but I cant. so I try not to dwell on Such horrors.
    1 person likes this.
  5. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    If you buy from a breeder and not from a hatchery, you can buy only what you want.
    Karen in western PA
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    But there are still extra roosters no one wants, it's just the breeder culling them. If you keep chickens you have to come to terms with you are a part of the rooster culling no matter how you do it.
    5 people like this.
  7. Soylent Chick

    Soylent Chick Chirping

    Jan 6, 2015
    2 people like this.
  8. kdubs518

    kdubs518 In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2014
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I order straight run chicks, and keep a very few cockrels for my flock. Others are sold or go into my freezer. They have a good life until that one bad day, and I think that's fair. There was an article in Backyard Poultry a few years ago that talked about hatchery culling practices for cockrel chicks, and it convinced me to avoid some hatcheries, and order straight run anywhere. Mary
    2 people like this.
  10. Hholly

    Hholly Songster

    Jul 3, 2015
    Amo, IN
    That's cool!

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