Unfortunately, the death of male chicks is a fact of egg production, even if you buy "free- range" or organic eggs. Life is not much better for the female chicks, who are temporarily spared but will spend the next 18 months or so crammed into less than a square foot of space in filthy, inhumane conditions. They'll never see the sun or indulge in natural hen behaviors like pecking or roosting. As soon as their productivity decreases, they're sent off to slaughter, often featherless, injured and filthy.
Chick-sexing generally pays significantly less in the U.S., where there appears to be no shortage of employees willing to do the inhumane work. In the U.K., the government recently rebuffed the poultry industry's request to place chick-sexing on a list of understaffed occupations, The Independent reported. The move would have allowed employers to source foreign workers more easily.