Major U.S. Egg Producer to Introduce In-Ovo Sexing after Talks with Mercy For Animals

The egg industry has a dark secret—it suffocates or grinds up thousands of fully conscious baby animals every day solely because they’re not profitable. But after talks with Mercy For Animals, major commercial egg producer Kipster will soon become the first U.S. egg company to adopt in-ovo sexing. 

What is in-ovo sexing?

In-ovo sexing enables egg producers to identify male embryos inside the eggshells. Through this technology, eggs that would hatch males can be destroyed before the embryos develop into chicks who can feel pain.

Leah Garcés, CEO and president of Mercy For Animals, stated:

Now that the technology is available, Kipster is helping bring in-ovo sexing to the United States. Mercy For Animals urgently calls on the rest of the egg industry, including all those represented by the United Egg Producers, to swiftly follow suit and end the cruel and unnecessary culling of 300 million chicks annually.

What is chick culling?

Male chickens can’t lay eggs, and chickens in the egg industry are not the breed used in commercial meat production. Therefore, the egg industry sees male chicks as worthless and kills them. More than 260 million male chicks are killed shortly after hatching each year in the United States alone. 

One of the most common “culling” methods in the U.S. egg industry is maceration, or grinding up live chicks. Workers separate chicks by sex, roughly handling them and injuring many, as undercover footage shows. Males are dropped onto a conveyor belt that funnels them into a “macerator”—a machine that shreds the animals alive while they’re fully conscious and able to feel pain and fear. Other killing methods include gassing, which results in slow, agonizing deaths, and “cervical dislocation” (breaking their necks).

Despite being cruel, these methods of mass killing are 100% legal and standard practice in the United States. Nearly all major U.S. egg producers kill male chicks or source their eggs from hatcheries that do.

How can you help chicks?

About 34,000 male chicks are needlessly killed every hour in the U.S. egg industry. Kipster’s decision to use in-ovo sexing is a huge step in the right direction that will end cruel chick culling in the company’s supply chain. 

The best way we can help animals in the egg industry is to cut back on eggs and products that contain eggs or stop eating them altogether. Nowadays, many delicious plant-based egg products on the market mimic the taste, texture, and cooking experience of chicken eggs. There are also countless ways to replace eggs in baking and other recipes.