Researchers want to end the mass killing of male chicks in the poultry industry. A new method now allows them to determine chicken sex soon after fertilization, and the males are sorted out before developing any further.
Unwanted by the poultry industry, billions of male chicks are thrown into mechanical shredders or gassed to death the moment they enter this world. German researchers have developed a more humane alternative.
A German court has ruled that the mass slaughter of male chicks does not violate animal protection laws. Farmers say that the males provide no eggs and too little meat; animal rights activists dub the practice murder.
Every year billions of chicks are killed as soon as they hatch simply because they are male. The German parliament has decided not to ban the practice. It's feared a ban would weaken German agriculture.
Global warming may threaten many bird species. Some chicks, though, are hatching well prepared for higher temperatures. Researchers say it's all thanks to their parents' song.
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