Incredible technological advance

29-07-2016 | |
Incredible technological advance
Incredible technological advance

Sometimes one runs into things that are really mind blowing. One example of that is technology that can determine the sex of chicken embryos while they are still in the egg using light or a tiny drop of egg fluid. Sounds like sci-fi but this technique may avoid chick culling in hatcheries.


The picture of a laboratory set-up for determining the sex of an embryo in an egg after only a few days in the incubator. The fact that it is possible to determine if a chick will be female or male at such an early stage, with only the help of light for one technique or a tiny drop of egg fluid as another technique, is an incredible technological advance. It’s almost science fiction.

It’s almost as if someone says Tesla builds practical electric cars that can drive fully autonomous. Hold on … they do!

Well, according to the scientists involved, 2017 will be the year that the first machines will hit the proverbial road that can be implemented in a hatchery. The pressure is on at this moment to bring the proof of concept in the laboratory to day-to-day practice targeting 100.000 eggs per machine per day with a success rate of 95%. As with Tesla cars autonomous driving function, there will not be a 100% accuracy and the new techniques will be costly.

Also interesting:
German parliament rejects male chick cull ban

The German parliament has voted down the proposed ban on culling male chicks, instead opting to stick with the voluntary agreement to end the practice when it becomes commercially viable.

However, just as with Tesla moving away from dinosaur juice (gas) to renewable electric energy, there are savings as well. No longer having to destroy day-old layer males is one gain. Financially, only having to incubate 50% of the eggs from day 9 till 21, will have a significant effect on any hatcheries cost structure. In investing in the ability solve the male layer problem, costs will come before returns. In the short run, that is.

Fabian Brockotter Editor in Chief, Poultry World