News 9 commentsupdate:Mar 9, 2016

New technique established for sexing chick embryos

Male chicks are usually discarded, however a breakthrough method has been found that could spare male baby chicken the chop after hatching. The German scientist who came up with this system received a €30.000 prize for animal protection, sounds like a better option than culling. What do you think?

Maria-Elisabeth Krautwald-Junghanns, a veterinarian from Leipzig, discovered a way of determining the sex of chicken embryos while they are still in the egg. Since most poultry farms routinely kill male chicks – because they cannot lay eggs and because male fowl meat is not tasty – this will avoid unnecessary animal cruelty.

Study says chick embryos feel no pain at this stage of development

Discarding unhatched males still in the egg will have fewer ill effects. Embryos are unable to feel any pain at this stage of development, studies show. A touchy subject in Germany, where animal rights are a matter of hot debate and where the practice of chicken culling after hatching causes a lot of outrage.

Hence the decision of Munich's Ludwig Maximilian University to award the biannual €30,000 Felix Wankel animal protection prize to the Leipzig professor.
Source: Mail & Guardian

World Poultry


  • John Mr. Metzer

    At what age are they culled?

  • melanie Aubin

    This technique is also applicable on duck egg?

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  • john ogundeyi

    My name is john i work in poultry hatchery as day old chicks sexer, i have 10 years experiece, i tran in isreal , i can sex so many types of breed , i need a permanent day old chicks sexing work. am presently in Malaysia, my phone number: +60149295301 .email: hope to hear good news from you soon ,

  • shafiq alam

    Hi I am Dr Shafiq alam from pakistan. I want to know about the way by which sexing is made while the chick is in the embryo in detail, because this is very useful method and i want to apply this method in pakistan poultry industry. my e-mail id

  • Eddy Van lierde

    The method for in ovo sex identification is on Day 9 of incubation by estrone sulfate measurement in the allantoic fluid. Apparantly female embryos display higher hormone levels in the allantoic fluid than males.

  • Makhsud Tagirov

    Anybody knows or heard about an industrially adopted method of chicken embryo sexing? Each year all around the world scientists report about promising results, but almost all of them aim to attract some funds and social attention to this urgent problem of poultry. 9 days sounds much better than 16-18 days proposed by Embrex a few years ago. But for some reason, they stopped their project. I guess, even if the method gives high accuracy results in the lab, we cannot be sure about its industrial future; there are still serious economic and veterinary issues to overcome.

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