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Author Topic: On a large chicken farm, how do they fertilise the thousands of hens?  (Read 642 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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There I was, merrily cracking open my second brown egg at breakfast when it suddenly hit me.   I suddenly started thinking that the logistics of putting an egg on every breakfast plate in the world every day must be enormous. An absolutely mammoth task.

Logic tells me that if hens are caged, they can't get naturally fertilised, can they? So where does this endless stream of chickens and eggs keep coming from?  It means hens must be getting fertilised on a vast corporate scale, daily, round the clock.

Then I thought, well, perhaps the short answer is that fertilisation just might not even be a part of the business plan of running an industrial-sized multi-thousand chicken farm.  Does it mean that industrial chicken farmers just keep on buying in millions and millions of new chicks every day, each one ready to be fed, lay eggs like clockwork and eventually be plucked and shrink wrapped?

But there's a clucking great 'But' to this last line of thought...IF chicken farmers do just buy in fresh loads of chicks, then where on earth do all the millions of day old chicks come from?

How do the factory farms that supply the chicken farms with these millions of chicks every day manage to fertilise all those millions and millions of mother hens? Again, it must be an incredibly intensive automated process.

Is the simple answer that there is a handful of very knackered roosters out there? But, as seems more likely, have all those tired roosters been long since replaced by armies of white clad lab technicians silently waving turkey basters chock full of warm rooster sperm over automated conveyor belts carrying endless lines of upended hens ready for fertilisation?

Finally, another disturbing thought struck...How would those armies of lab technicians armed with etc etc get all that rooster sperm in the first place? I make me feel quite queasy. It must be another vast sub-industry, not one for the squeamish or faint-hearted but one that'd need highly  complex organisation.

I honestly cannot understand it. Not the scope and scale of it. Not at all. Please help to un-baffle me. It's ruining my breakfast not knowing.

How do chicken farmers do it?
« Last Edit: 25 June, 2017, 09:49:01 AM by P-Kasso2 »
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Offline siasl

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Err, for eggs you only need hens, and not cockerels. They lay continuously.

In terms of how do they get so many chickens in the oven for a roast every day, well about all I know it's that the average age of a roast chicken is about 35 days.