A hand gently cups a brown egg, above a box of other eggs.

Out of love for chicks

More respect in egg production

Migros is actively taking action against the widespread killing of chicks. The aim behind this is to prevent male chicks from dying during egg production.

From
Michelle de Oliveira
Date
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What we do

Male chicks don’t have it easy: they can’t lay eggs and they don’t produce enough meat to be fattened up, which is why three million chicks are killed in Switzerland every year after they have hatched. Migros is taking action against this and is campaigning for egg production without the killing of chicks.

Determining the sex within the egg

The Seleggt process offers an ethical alternative to conventional egg production. A hormone analysis determines the sex of the animal while it is still in the egg: a drop of fluid is extracted from the egg, which allows a distinction to be made between male and female hatching eggs. Ultimately, only the females are hatched, with 95 per cent of male chicks identified and prevented from hatching.

The other 5 per cent are within the analysis’s margin of error. These male animals are allowed to grow up alongside their sisters and are slaughtered after twelve weeks. Their meat is sold in stores in Switzerland. Migros is the first Swiss retailer to include these eggs with the “Respeggt” label in its range. The «Respeggt» eggs come from Swiss free-range farms.

A brown chicken standing in a green meadow.

Happy Demeter cockerels

In addition, Migros sells Demeter eggs throughout Switzerland. The «brother roosters» of Demeter laying hens are reared, subsequently fattened up and then sold in stores as whole animals. They have slightly less meat than conventional fattened chicken. With Demeter eggs, there is no selection by gender – all chicks are reared.

Two small chicks standing in straw.

Bio Suisse also bans the killing of chicks

Gender selection is not permitted for organic eggs, either. Bio Suisse has also decided to completely do away with the killing of chicks from 2026 onwards. The brothers of the laying hens are reared for 10 weeks. Migros then sells the meat from these roosters in the form of chicken breast, among other products. Migros is the only retailer in Switzerland to ensure a cycle of this nature.

The changeover will be gradual: by 2023, 18% of Migros’ organic eggs will come from hens whose brothers are reared. In 2024, this will be the case for more than half (59%) of the eggs, and by 2025 for 82% of them. From January 2026, male chicks will no longer be killed during the production of organic eggs.