New Sex Determination Technology Could End the “Culling” of Male Baby Chicks


Male baby chicks could now be hopefully spared from the harsh and sometimes inhumane practice of “Culling” as a new technology aims at providing a solution to this problem by allowing the process of determining the sex of the unborn chick inside the egg.

The U.S egg production is estimated at around 80 billion eggs per year, out of which some have to be kept under warmth and incubation to allow them to hatch, keeping the supply of egg laying chickens going.

But a problem rears its ugly head as soon as the to-be-hatched eggs beget chicks because nearly half of them will end up with a very bad fate called “Culling”.

The unfortunate ones will be the male chicks who are not useful for meat production, neither can they lay eggs, so leaving a small number of them alive to fertilize the hens, all of them are killed through highly stringent methods like gassing, ending up in a grinding machine or even worse, suffocation.

This is normal industry practice, but the lives of these male chicks could be given a better option than making them meet this fate of doom. Animal rights activists across the world continuously cringe and express their displeasure over this practice but to see an economic side to it, the process is quite expensive to the poultry owners and they could do away with a more cost-effective practice in place.

An Israeli Company Novatrans, along with an egg laying concern in Autin, Texas, Vital Farms, have come up with a great solution to this problem by making it possible to determine the sex of the chick inside the egg by checking and analyzing the makeup of gasses that pour outwards from its small holes.

The process for a single egg takes a few seconds to be completed and it begins when the hen lays the egg and it is forwarded to the incubation center after two days, the gasses can be trapped and the gender found out quite easily.

This practice will put these eggs up for sale to be consumed and induce savings from stopping the process of culling for male chicks. The United Egg Producers have said in a statement regarding this that they will shift from the process if an economically viable option is available, the deadline for doing so is 2020.