Most of the eggs that are consumed are infertile. However would eating eggs from certain farms would increase kills of the male chickens (cockerels)? By killing, I mean brutally slaughtered by the use of lethal gas because of their little value. Does it happens on free-range also?

If so, how do I know, and how to avoid that? Is there any extra label information which provides such information?

I'm interested mainly how it's in EU countries (however situation in U.S. can be also included).


2 Answers 2


Buying organic free range eggs does nothing for protecting the cockerels. This is for example critisied here (in german) by PETA.

There are organizations, which do raise the cockerels for meat (e.g. haehnlein).

I was yet unable to find a souce for eggs, which don't include any animal killing.


I always look for the egg method of production reference which is printed in the egg or in the egg carton.

  • 0 organic egg production (most desired)
  • 1 free-range eggs
  • 2 deep litter indoor housing
  • 3 cage farming (less desired)

Although it's a good point to start, it's very hard to find the ones marked as 0 unless you go a local bio store.

Sadly this is not a definite way to avoid slaughter, animals can still be used for meat or get killed because they're not productive any more.

Nowadays the best way will always be to breed your own chicken or find someone you trust who does. Still be aware of salmonella and take some advice to avoid it: What is the danger of salmonella in 'home laid eggs' and how should I clean them?

  • 2
    It's mentioned on wiki that even for organic egg production: 'male chicks who are born on organic or free-range egg farms are still discarded, by the use of lethal gas, because they do not produce eggs'.
    – kenorb
    Feb 1, 2017 at 14:57
  • @kenorb you can still find people in rural areas who use chicken production for their own living and have extra egg production, thus selling it to local markets. Unless you go directly to the chicken farm, you cannot really know how are the animals treated Feb 1, 2017 at 14:59
  • 1
    @kenorb It's sad to know that, in the end companies look more for the money than the animals... I've added the reference to the answer Feb 1, 2017 at 15:17
  • I downvoted this because I don't want to give the impression that it answers the question although the info in it happens to be fine. Things that live have to die. I don't see how to escape that problem.
    – djechlin
    Feb 1, 2017 at 22:27
  • @djechlin "Things that live have to die"... There are tons of ways to die, a decent dead can also be given to an animal Feb 1, 2017 at 23:12

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