A contract egg farmer in Minnesota said he had to euthanize 61,000 chickens after the coronavirus pandemic has driven down demand for their eggs, according to the Star Tribune.
"They come in with carts, put them all in carts, wheel them up to the end, put a hose in that cart and gas them, then dump them over the edge into a conveyor and convey them up into semis and the semis haul them out," Kerry Mergen, told the Star Tribune.
"I was in there for quite a while, and the longer I was there the more disgusted and disappointed I was knowing that I'm not going to see anything put back in my checkbook again, so after a while, I just simply left," he added.
Since Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz ordered a stay-in-place order for the state March 25, the demand for eggs, milk, and lettuce has dried up as the caterers, restaurants and schools have closed their doors.
"It is important to note that food-service orders have not stopped, but with the decline in food-service orders, Cargill and its egg suppliers are working diligently to rebalance supply to match these consumer and customer shifts," Cargill said in a statement.
According to Mergen, four other egg farms that were much larger had their chickens euthanized in the state recently.
Barb Mergen, Kerry's wife, said she would miss the money the chickens brought in more than the animals.
"Don't sugarcoat it. It is what it is," Barb told the Star-Tribune. "It's painless for the birds. I don't have a thing against that, but it's just that someone can come in so quickly and when they euthanized the birds, that was our paycheck euthanized."
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