Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What Happens to Roosters at Egg Farms?

If you ever see an ad for a free-range egg farm, you see lots of happy hens running around. However, roosters are nowhere in site. The reason for this is that farms generally separate the hens from the roosters shortly after birth. Often, the roosters are killed on the spot. Otherwise they're raised and sold for meat. There are four main reasons that roosters aren't allowed to live.

1) Roosters don't provide eggs
2) Roosters tend to fight and cause other trouble
3) Roosters crow
4) Feeding and housing roosters can be expensive.

In very rare cases, there are farms that do allow roosters to live. One farmer detailed his success at letting roosters live, though the roosters would fight each other in order to try and mate with the hens. As a result, he separated the roosters from the hens, and was surprised that this put an end to their fighting and competing (Link). Other forums have detailed similar success stories (Link). So, as long as a farmer is willing to deal with the crowing and the extra money for feeding and housing roosters, it's evident that roosters lives can also be spared.

Another possible option is to allow roosters to live in the wild. Chickens can actually thrive in warm or tropical climates, as evidenced in this video:

In conclusion, roosters and non-laying hens are sold for money rather than kept as "expensive pets". Simply put, it all comes down to money. If roosters and non-laying hens were protected, housed and fed, eggs would likely go up in price from $2.50 a dozen to $10 a dozen. And the fact is that most people don't care enough about animal cruelty to pay that much for eggs. That being said, the "free range revolution" proves that people can improve the lives of hens simply by purchasing the most humane eggs available. We've already improved the lives of hens, now let's remember the forgotten rooster.

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