At this facility in the USA 30 million male chicks will be killed this way every year.
In the UK it is estimated that 20 million chicks are hatched for egg production each year. Millions of male chicks in the UK will either be gassed with carbon dioxide or sent into a macerator similar to the one shown in this video.
Most people don’t realise that the male chicks are not used by the industry and are killed on the same day that they hatch. Thrown away like rubbish.
Here is a link to The Humane Slaughter Association’s PDF document outlining the industry standard method of mechanical killing of day old chicks. http://www.hsa.org.uk/Resources/Publications/Technical%20Notes/imd.pdf
Chick culling on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick_culling
Enriched Cages (minimum UK standard)
Quote from the Compassion in World Farming wesite:
`Although the barren battery cage was banned in the EU on 01 January 2012, the use of ‘enriched’ cages remains legal. The original enriched cages housed 10 hens, but most recent systems are colony cages housing 60-80 hens.
Colony cages are slightly less crowded (space per hen around 20% larger than an A4 piece of paper) and the hens have a small area to move around in. Nest boxes, litter, perch space and ‘claw shortening devices’ must be provided.
Enriched cages provide some improvement but they are still restrictive, the hens cannot fly up to a high perch to be safe from feather pecking, the litter area is often very limited and effective dust-bathing isn’t possible.’
Here is a link to the Compassion in World Farming Website giving information on what the higher welfare options actually mean.