[WARNING: the following post may put you a bit off your feed.]
On this thread I noticed a discussion in the comments section about chicken. Inquiring minds wanted to know whether we eat female birds only, or males and females equally (and by the way, “chicken” refers both to female birds and to the generic species as a whole).
Sorta-kinda-trusty old Wiki has the scoop, although the following may be more (much more) than you wanted to know:
In the United States, laying hens are butchered after their second egg laying season. In Europe, they are generally butchered after a single season. The laying period begins when the hen is about 18–20 weeks old (depending on breed and season). Males of the egg-type breeds have little commercial value at any age, and all those not used for breeding (roughly fifty percent of all egg-type chickens) are killed soon after hatching. Such “day-old chicks” are sometimes sold as food for captive and falconers birds of prey. The old hens also have little commercial value. Thus, the main sources of poultry meat a hundred years ago (spring chickens and stewing hens) have both been entirely supplanted by meat-type broiler chickens.
And speaking of too much information: please don’t watch this video (I certainly didn’t)—but apparently it demonstrates how male chicks are killed not long after they hatch.