Why does the poultry industry slaughter so many male turkey chicks?



  1. 0 Votes

    Because they are less profitable. Most large-scale poultry farming done these days is an industrial process, which results in some effects that most of us would rather not see. The emphasis is on quick reproduction of birds and heavy egg production. Males obviously don’t lay eggs, so on the whole the commercial value of male turkeys is less per head than females. Male turkeys also don’t grow fast enough to be very profitable for meat production even though when mature they’re usually larger than females. The large-scale slaughter of male chicks has been criticized not just with turkeys but with chickens too, and some hatcheries feed male chicks into automatic grinding machines–which brings to mind some pretty grisly images. There has been some research done recently to develop a process to “sex” turkey eggs before they are born, thus enabling breeders to separate out the male from the female eggs before they are born. I’ve never eaten turkey eggs, so I have no idea if the separated male eggs might have any commercial value as food, but it’s something to think about.

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