Ground Up Alive
A whistleblower, a camera, and a company with a sordid history of animal abuse
Maple Lodge Farms, with its slogan “Family First,” projects wholesome images across its brand. A farmer in a wicker hat carries baskets of eggs through a sunny field on the company’s website.
Its Instagram feed is filled with pastel-colored, cursive quotes about family and motherhood.
But an MFA whistleblower working at a hatchery owned by Maple Lodge Farms in Ontario discovered that this deceptive marketing is a far cry from reality.
The chicks at the hatchery never even meet their mothers. And mothers have no way to protect their chicks from the pain, suffering, and fear they experience at this facility.
Once hatched, the chicks are gathered up like objects and thrown onto a series of conveyor belts.
They go through a “sexing” area where workers determine the sex of each chick. Males are grabbed and thrown down one metal chute. Females are tossed down another.
Chicks on the conveyor belt who are deemed too weak, small, or injured are dumped—still alive—into an industrial macerator that grinds them up. Some birds go down more slowly than others, and they flap their tiny wings with all their might to try to escape. But the chute is far too steep.
Other baby birds are viciously killed by having their necks smashed against metal edges of factory equipment. This isn’t the first time Maple Lodge Farms has been caught abusing animals. A previous exposé by MFA at Maple Lodge Farms and prior criminal complaints have also revealed horrific animal cruelty.
In a 2015 MFA exposé, a whistleblower filmed birds violently slammed into metal shackles, shocked with electricity, and cut open at the throat while still conscious and able to feel pain.
Countless other animals froze to death during transport to the Maple Lodge Farms slaughterhouse.
The CEO of the company called the cruelty uncovered by MFA’s prior exposé “really disturbing” and vowed “to implement changes needed” so incidents like this wouldn’t happen again.
Yet footage from our recent investigation makes it clear this was an empty promise.
“The animals’ only hope is that people leave animal products off their plates and stop funding an industry where abuse and suffering run rampant,” said Jesse, the MFA whistleblower who exposed the heartbreaking cruelty at the chick hatchery.