Shredded chicks, Coop says Enough


Chopped chicks, just because they are male. A common practice on laying hen farms around the world. Which Coop Italy has decided to escape from. ‘Let’s save the male chick’ is the slogan of the campaign launched on 4.4.19 with which Italy’s leading large-scale retail operator puts an end to a cruelty that affects 360 million chicks every year in the EU alone. (1) Thus qualifying its branded eggs as cruelty free.

Save the male chick

The removal of chicks

males from the broods of laying hens – the so-called


– responds to economic interests. Unlike females, which are intended to produce eggs, males are unprofitable. To a small extent they are bred and marketed as cockerels or capons, but they remain a low-value product compared to ‘roosters for meat.’ Therefore, immediately after the eggs hatch they are usually separated from the females and suppressed, through
different ways
. Shredding, suffocation, electric shock.
A practice henceforth banned on farms supplying Coop brand eggs.

Strong in multi-year supply chain agreements, Coop has agreed with its suppliers to also raise male chicks from the same brood as the laying hens for branded egg production. A fate other than immediate culling for about 750,000 chicks a year. And one more step forward for Italy’s leading large-scale retailer, which has always been exemplary in policies aimed at animal welfare.

Coop eggs, cutting-edge supply chain

Coop’s commitment for an ethical and sustainable egg supply chain began 15 years ago. Following a progression that has always placed it one step ahead of other operators:

– stop the cages. Fifteen years ago, it first guaranteed for Coop-branded eggs to come from free-range hens, banning those from caged layers. A guarantee equal only to organic eggs,



n 2010, eggs from caged hens
of any brand – have been banned from the shelves of Coop’s more than 11,000 stores. A decision that earned her the ‘Good egg’ award given by Compassion in World Farming,

– Without antibiotics. In 2017, as part of the‘Let’s raise health‘ campaign. (in late 2018 extended to fish) the more than 200 million Coop eggs become antibiotic free. A choice that further improves the animal welfare of laying hens (more than two million are involved), and concretely addresses the emergence of antibiotic resistance, Among the great dangers repeatedly reported by the WHO.

– never shredded chicks again.

In 2019, with the ‘Save the Male Chick’ campaign, Coop-branded eggs become the first ‘

cruelty free

‘ in Italy.


(1) Compassion in World Farming Italy (CIWF) estimate.

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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".


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