How Do Hatcheries Raise Poultry?


Quick Answer

Hatcheries raise poultry by fertilizing hens that lay eggs, cleaning the eggs and placing the eggs in an incubator that rotates and keeps the eggs at the ideal temperature. They also vaccinate the chicks once they are hatched.

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Full Answer

Hatcheries are a multi-billion dollar industry and are the primary source of commercial poultry and eggs. The hatcheries have undergone multiple studies to create uniform poultry size compared to the minimum amount of feed consumed to optimize profits. The primary birds hatched at commercial hatcheries are chickens, turkeys and ducks.

Hatcheries are controversial in the western world due to the large number of chicks produced and the poor living conditions of most of the animals. Several hatcheries also participate in chick culling, a process by which baby chickens are sexed. If they are determined to be male, many of the chickens are thrown into a grinder, where they are turned into protein feed for female chickens who lay eggs.

The poultry industry was responsible for breeding different types of chickens, one primarily for meat and another primarily for eggs. Males of the egg-laying variety have no use for the industry and are often culled shortly after birth.

Urban chicken raising, where an individual raises his or her own chickens in a backyard coop, has become a recent trend in cities as an alternative to purchasing eggs from hatcheries.

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