Oct 6, 2020
Mutilation that began in 1930 on an Ohio farm
Chick beak mutilation has become a widespread procedure in the egg industry
Contrary to popular belief, the beak contains a very sensitive membrane, so dissecting it causes them extreme pain that can last between 3 and 5 weeks and permanent disturbance. This practice, contemplated by the bad regulations on animal welfare, is carried out by cauterization – high temperatures – with extreme violence (the operator, with one hand subjected the wings together with the paws and with the other hand secures the neck, with the thumb on the back of the head, then insert your index finger between the two peaks and push your tongue back) in order to prevent them from attacking each other due to the stress that causes them to become overcrowded, which causes losses for the farmer, otherwise ′ ′ they cannot be resold for meat, after the end of the hen’s posture cycle “.
This happens both in macrogranges and in small companies.
The operation exclusively concerns hens raised to produce eggs, and is performed within 10 days of age. The part of the chicks’ beak near the end is shaped like a pointed hook, to allow the hen to pluck, select food particles and penetrate the ground more easily. In farms, food is constantly available to the animals so the reduction of the beak is done to avoid plucking, which the layers practice among themselves for a matter of role. The other reason is to avoid cases of cannibalism, which hens instinctively tend to do towards the eggs (why?).
Years ago the beak was popped with a hot blade, and being an operation performed manually by a person, the cut may not be precise. Today, to eliminate the risk of involuntarily injuring the chicks, the reduction is performed by a hyper-technological robot and human intervention is minimal. The machine, developed by Nova-Tech Engineering, adapts to each chick, so before starting the robot measures the dimensions of the beak and the chick and in a fraction of a second illuminates only the final area of the beak with infrared rays. . After a couple of weeks, the part exposed to infrared dries up and falls, leaving the beak rounded, well closed, without pointed ends and without the risk of contracting infections. In this way, injuries are drastically reduced on farms.
These attentions, necessary even if criticized by detractors, allow, among other things, greater well-being and lower mortality thanks to the fact that while there is a certain normal competition between animals, injuries drastically decrease.
It should be noted that the system, despite having very high costs that affect the already low margins of the sector, increases animal welfare and is now used in most farms, equal today to about 80% of the total and destined to grow due to both the beneficial effects on animals and the resulting economic yield for breeders.