On Wednesday we featured an article about what could possibly be the worst job ever that nobody wanted – even if it paid £40K a year. It was a chicken sexer.
At the time we thought it sounded pretty terrible – just sitting around on your butt for 12 hours a day determining the sex of around 1000 chicks a day in under five seconds each with a required accuracy of 98%, sheeesh – but it turns out that it’s actually even grosser than we imagined. That’s because once chicks have been identified as male, then they’re sent to be killed. That’s right – if you took this job then you’re pretty much sending 500 chicks to their death every day you work. That might have something to do with it being so unpopular. Just saying.
The reason for this is that male chicks from egg laying hens don’t produce eggs themselves and so are useless to the corporations. They are gassed after being identified and then used as feed for reptiles and other animals. They can’t be used for meat as they’re not fully grown and so there isn’t any meat on them. This happens regardless of whether the hens are caged or free range.
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A spokesman for the British Egg Information Service – which is apparently a real thing – offered the following statement:
They are culled almost immediately, so at a day old, they are humanely gassed. In some other countries this is not the case but it always is in the UK. It is the only method used.
All plants have to have macerator by law but they aren’t used for culling. They are always humanely gassed.
This process has been in place as long as the industry has been there.
Well there you have it, the worst job ever just became significantly worse, and it might even be enough to stop you buying eggs as often because it really is horrific how many chicks are killed each day in the industry. I don’t even want to hazard a guess at how many it could be if each chicken sexer is responsible for around 500 a day. Disgusting.