Kipster decided to end the culling of male chickens by letting the laying brothers grow up to become an alternative source of meat.
In the US, about 300 million male chickens are culled annually in the egg industry. But Kipster, a Dutch company and newcomer to the American egg market, instead found a purpose for these chickens as an alternative source of meat.
In the coming weeks, the first kipster roosters will reach 15 weeks of age. These American roosters will then be processed into meat products for human consumption.
Sandra Vijn from Kipster: “Now we take responsibility. We let the roosters live. If humans choose to eat chicken, why not the rooster brothers of our hens? As a result, fewer broilers will be needed for meat.”
Many people in the industry are working to end male culls:
– Contestants compete to determine the sex of the chick before it hatches
– France bans slaughter of day-old chickens
– Breakthrough in gene editing could end the culling of male chickens
An unused source of protein
Roosters and culled hens from farmers are an untapped source of meat, according to Kipster. Laying hens become meat approximately 90 weeks after the end of the laying period. The company adds that one pound of chicken and rooster meat can replace one pound of broiler meat.
Nancy Roulston, Senior Director of Corporate Policy and Animal Science, ASPCA: “Kipster’s welfare-focused approach to egg production shows that suffering is not inevitable when businesses combine compassion with innovation. The ASPCA hopes that food companies will recognize the incredible opportunity that Kipster offers to improve the welfare of animals in their supply chains.
Dr Hillary Dalton, senior research manager at Compassion in World Farming, says culling male chickens is a “waste of resources to incubate millions of eggs from unwanted male chickens”, adding that the organization is delighted with Kipster’s “pioneering efforts to tackle the biggest welfare and waste issues in the American laying industry.”