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Published on Nov 21, 2006
Video shot by hatchery employee includes scenes of chicks gasping for air as they slowly suffocate in plastic bags. While employed at a North Carolina turkey hatchery that now supplies Butterball, a COK investigator documented the conditions forced upon newly-hatched chicks.
As the investigation video shows, from the moment they're hatched, these turkeys are submerged into a world of misery. Dumped out of metal trays and jostled onto conveyor belts after being mechanically separated from cracked egg shells, the newly-hatched turkeys are tossed around like inanimate objects -- they are sorted, sexed, de-beaked, de-toed, and in some cases de-snooded before they are packed up and shipped off to a "grow out" confinement facility.
The video further reveals that not all chicks survive this harsh process. Countless chicks become mangled from the machinery, suffocated in plastic bags, or deemed "surplus" and dumped (along with injured chicks) into the same disposal system as the discarded egg shells they were separated from hours earlier.