An animal rights group publicized a video Tuesday showing unwanted chicks being tossed alive into a grinder at an Iowa plant and accused egg hatcheries of being “perhaps the cruelest industry” in the world.

The undercover video was shot by Chicago-based Mercy for Animals at a hatchery in Spencer, Iowa, over a two-week period in May and June. The video was first obtained Monday by The Associated Press.dresslikeme

“We have to ask ourselves if these were puppies and kittens being dropped into grinders, would we find that acceptable?” asked Nathan Runkle, the group’s executive director, at a news conference in Des Moines. “I don’t think that most people would.”

The group said that tossing male chicks, which have little value because they can’t lay eggs or be raised quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat, into grinders is common industry practice. United Egg Producers, a trade group for U.S. egg farmers, confirmed that. The video, shot with a hidden camera and microphone by a Mercy for Animals employee who got a job at the plant, shows a Hy-Line worker sorting through a conveyor belt of chirping chicks, flipping some of them into a chute like a poker dealer flips cards. “There is, unfortunately, no way to breed eggs that only produce female hens,” Head said. “If someone has a need for 200 million male chicks, we’re happy to provide them to anyone who wants them. But we can find no market, no need.” Using a grinder, Head said, “is the most instantaneous way to euthanize chicks.”

I suppose we could just wait ’till they’re adults and just lop their little heads off.

  1. Sandblade says:

    I wonder what PETA thinks we should do about hawks, foxes, and coyotes that cruelly and inhumanely kill thousands of chicks around the world? Also if you want to know how people really feel about an issue, than look at what they’re willing to pay. I applaud those who are willing to go the local agriculture/permaculture route. They put their money where their mouth is. They would also tell you it ain’t cheap, and you don’t eat meat that often or in large amounts. However would the public be willing to pay $6 for a dozen eggs or $10 for six chicken mcnuggets to have male chicks euthanized in CO2 chambers? I think not.

  2. Benjamin says:

    They live up the road from my parents. Hyland needs to do a better job checking for cameras, or maybe even doing background checks to make sure they are not animal rights activists.

  3. green says:

    Factory reared animals live with fear and stress for their entire existence then fed to us.

    Their cells become our cells when eaten. No doubt some of that stress and fear gets passed on through our diet.

  4. arealmother says:

    #33—“Their cells become our cells when eaten?”

    I was under the impression that human cell division, you know, those teeny little balls containing 46 chromosomes you learned about in 7th grade, were responsible for generating new cells.

    I must have skipped the chapter about chicken cells subverting the processes of interphase and mitosis. Who knew?

    I’m pretty confident our cells are OUR cells, no matter what we eat.

  5. bobbo, all dogs and cats are gourmands says:

    I would think that ground up chicken would be quite good for our pets. Meat. Bones would be a source of calcium. Even the feathers could be non-digestible bulk, good for the morning crap.

    #26–Dalls==you do know not everything revolves around sex? like food? Seems to me the “essence” of humane is as quick and painless as possible. Now exactly what is your objection to an instantaneous shredding machine?

    My objection to espresso machine is they perform a simple function with very simple parts. I can see minor price hikes given the differing parts, boiling chamber versus thermoblock, and 1-2 or 3 thermometers and pressure guages. I just can’t see any of those parts adding up to over $200–much less 500, 1000, or 1500 for a freaking cup at a time home machine.

    I really wish it made sense to go to a machining class. A manual hand lever espresson machine would be a delight to design, build, and use. I’d make it as big as a volkswagon and have it occupy my dining room. Living Large.

  6. Dallas says:

    #35 I have no problem with an instantaneous shredding machine. Did you read anything about me objecting to one?

    My point was clear. If a more ethical treatment for animals can be found, I am all for it.

    I support PETA for bringing these topics forward even if I don’t agree with them all the time.

  7. Hitos says:


    The “essence of humane” is as convenient and confortable as possible.

    Some don’t like the idea of grinding up little chicks because this makes them uncomfortable. Most people don’t care because it’s convenient that way.

    Yes, it’s that selfish. Most people don’t accept it because it makes them uncomfortable.

    Ethics are not inherently human. If they were, we wouldn’t exploit animals and environment as we do and would be in a very different situation (maybe extinct, who knows).

    This is unpleasant, but as far as an issue go, it’s not very important. I suppose the ground up chicks are being put to good use as animal food. By measure it’s less of an issue than fur used for fashion(as opposed to plain clothing) purposes, which is much less issue than humans starving on the streets(YMMV, since these are living beings that have been allowed to live, while the others have not), which I don’t know and therefore don’t care. Most people just pretend to care about these homeless people, sparing just a few dollars while they have home, food and many comforts.

    When you take the rose-coloured glasses off, you see that our concerns are very selfish most of the time, even when they don’t seems so.

  8. maryland157 says:

    I don’t see what the Chick-fil-a Cow image has to do with the story, the picture is unrelated and gave me the feeling that the story had to do with Chick-fil-a.

  9. meetsy says:

    go VEGAN??? No way. I would like to have a balanced diet with some taste. Plus, you get weird, and lose your sense of humor, and…no diet can be good for you if it increases maternal (meaning if you are pregnant) health risks for BOTH mother and baby. It’s not good for children. The low B12 in the diet is one issue, as is the risk of malnutrition from eating a diet that is politically motivated, instead of nutritionally sound.
    And, soy…not that good for you…makes men grow bitchtits, and women have too much estrogen….which is implicated in an array of diseases.

  10. meetsy says:

    $6.00 eggs…aren’t necessary. I have chickens in my yard that eat food scraps, bugs, and grains. I get about a dozen eggs a day — in the summer, three dozen a week in the winter. They cost me….ummm, well a 50lb bag of grain costs $18.00 currently. Feeds them for 30 days… so roughly… a dozen eggs costs me about .05 each (summer) and .15 each (winter). That’s under a dollar a carton.
    Locally grown eggs (small farmers) cost $3-4.00 a dozen.
    I buy my local grown and butchered pastured chickens for $3.00 a pound, and locally grown grass fed beef $2.00 a pound hanging weight, plus .35 a pound for cutting/wrapping by the butcher.
    Oh, and we get raw milk from a certified dairy for $6.75 a gallon.
    The numbers are not that off from other parts of the country….so why are we eating crap food, again? Oh right, because you can go to a big chain grocery store and buy it. Gotcha.

  11. jaywontdart says:

    RE Soy, if you dont like soy, you dont have to eat it. Theres no “soy” in the word “vegan”. I drink soymilk and eat tofu, and am totally flat chested, yes, I am a guy 🙂

    There are many male vegan bodybuilders, an athlete you may know is Carl Lewis, I believe the americans thought he was JC a few years back at the olympics?

    There are plenty of vegans all around you. If you look at some actual websites, and not weirdo hippy pamphlets, then maybe you will have a better opinion on the topic.

    Eating meat doesnt make you tough, especially when you buy it in a plastic package, hiding behind the massive industry in between.

    I love when John talks about “vay-guns” on NA! I use clips from NA on my podcast quite often.

  12. clancys_daddy says:

    #33 WTF take a basic biology course geez. Then again I raise and hunt or catch my food. Chickens, geese, beef, pork, deer, turkey. fish, right next to the garden raised, home canned veggies, yummy. I guess it might be coincidental that I was raised on farms and know where my food came from growing up. Helpful hint never name your food. Vegetarian old Indian (sorry native american) word for bad hunter.

  13. Say What! says:

    #41. Um, I believe Carl Lewis was using steroids. So your analogy is a big fat fail.

  14. jaywontdart says:

    #43 WTF does Carl Lewis using steroids have to do with my “analogy” being “fail”?

    Incidentally, steroids are most likely vegan? lol, like beer, vodka, wine (“vegan wine” without the fish gut crap “isinglass), weed, cocaine, magic mushrooms and the hard drugs like chocolate and coffee. Everything people get addicted to seems to be made out of a plant. Do you really think “oh I couldnt give up bacon” compares to a crack heads addiction? 🙂

    I never said anything like “carl lewis was so fast etc because he didnt eat cute baby animals”, I just mentioned that hes a very fit American vegan that people around the world look up to and respect. He does NOT have “bitchtits” as some ingrate above said vegan guys get. Yes, Carl Lewis eats soy products, look up “carl lewis vegan ” on Youtube , oh, like right here

    I never said being vegan makes you ultra fast/strong/sexy, although I mention Im vegan if it comes up to the ladies and they think its a positive trait. I dont know many women who get turned on over hunting, the sort of women I go out with prefer a man who can cook to a man who “puts food on the table” in that other way.

  15. meetsy says:

    vay gan, right?
    Give the soy a few more years, sonny…you’ll see them big fat flabby man boobs, np.
    Most veeeegans are so full of their own excrement that they have little room left to have a sense of humor…they are, however, full of themselves. I know, it’s because they eat with the power of politics. Not sane food choices. Not food that has flavor. NOT food that is nutritionally sound. NOT food that is to satiate the soul.
    Keep telling yourself that you are morally superior as you choke down that barely edible food. I’m so sick of veeeeeeegans.

  16. meetsy says:

    oh #41…I know where my food comes from…I shop local.

  17. laura says:

    3 years ago I bit into a mcnugget, it popped liquid in my mouth. I spat it out took it apart a little to discover what was obviously a baby bird, in tact.

  18. chickenstastegross says:

    #47 huh, grinder must have missed that one :S


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