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Endoscopic system for sexing day-old chicks

Sexing day-old chicks is very important for poultry production. Females are used exclusively for commercial layers, whereas males are preferable in commercial broilers due to their fast growth.

Vent sexing

Several methods of chick sexing have been developed, the most popular method being vent sexing, which is performed just by looking for the presence or absence of a rudimentary male sex organ. Although this method is fast and accurate, it requires the observer to be well trained and to have a great deal of practice.

Feather sexing

Another method is feather sexing, which uses sex-linked feather characteristics genes. Although this method is easy in practice, it can be applied only to a limited number of chicken breeds and cross breeds.

High accuracy with endoscope sexing

Molecular sexing techniques, which are accurate, but difficult to apply to large number of chicks, are available as well. A modified endoscope system for small animals, based on the ‘Chick tester’; a monitor probe to be inserted into the intestine of a chick, used in the 1960-70s, was developed to determine the sex of day-old chicks quickly and accurately.

The probe of the endoscope was inserted from the cloaca into the intestine of a chick, and the presence of testes or ovary was observed through the wall of the intestine. Tests were performed in White leghorn and Rhode Island red chicks using this new system. The accuracy of sexing was 91.1% in White leghorn chicks and 88.3% in Rhode island red chicks, overall accuracy of sexing was 90.2% Data were confirmed by observing gonads after laparotomy or appearances at 80 d of age. Accuracy of sexing male chicks (95.0%) was higher than that of female chicks (86.0%). It is expected that the accuracy would be improved by continuous training in the handling of the endoscope.

Makoto Otsuka, Osamu Miyashita, Mitsuru Shibata, Fujiyuki Sato and Mitsuru Naito, Poultry Science.


  • ENG Gingerich

    This is a very misleading and useless article for commercial egg or meat bird production. The present methods of feather sexing of egg layers is 99.75% accurate. The male egg-type chicks are then humanely euthanized. Most broilers are not sexed and grown as mixed. Vent sexing of breeders and other birds that do not carry the feathersexable trait is satisfactory. Eric Gingerich DVM

  • Leo Antony

    This short article sounds interesting,but as someone who has been in the breeder and hatchery operations for years, I feel the endoscopic method is impractical and cumbersome to both the chicks as well as the sexor. As Dr.Gingerich rightly points out, the existing procedures of both vent as well as feather sexing are far easier, more accurate and even faster because in commercial hatcheries chicks are handled on a large scale.

  • PJG Kuhne

    April's fool day?

  • Robert Gauthier

    This illustrate the best definition of "going nowhere". I agree with the others comments that this is not needed nor practical nor viable.

  • Wisanu Wanasawaeng

    I think we should read all below article before comment:
    Makoto Otsuka, Osamu Miyashita, Mitsuru Shibata, Fujiyuki Sato and Mitsuru Naito (2016). A novel method for sexing day-old chicks using endoscope system. Poultry Science. doi: 10.3382/ps/pew211
    The author mentioned that the endoscope system devised in this study requires no specific skills and anyone can perform sexing of chicks after short-term training.

  • Ana Blanco

    In my opinion the big problem now is the regulation for ending with the killing of one-day-old male chicks. Therefore, we need to looking for alternatives like the dual purpose breeds or in ovo gender determination.

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