Tuesday, December 20, 2016
In-ovo chick sexing to curb massive culling of day-old cockerels.
The meat of modern laying hen strains differs from that of broiler strains in that it is not as edible and because their meat is of little economic value, many producers choose to cull day-old cockerel chicks that will not add to egg production . The massive culling of male chicks has raised animal welfare concerns hence many interventions have been sought to curb the practice by early detection of birds through sexing. A new research according to Eureka Alert,explains a method which can be carried out in the egg without damaging them, can distinguish between male and female embryos through differences between the sexes in the egg fluids. In-ovo testing is key to ending massive culling of male chicks in the poultry industry. This test uses an imaging technique called optical spectroscopy,and a group of European scientists have identified a way to determine the sex of a chick within four days of the egg being laid. The imaging technique called optical spectroscopy makes it possible for hatcheries to accurately determine the sex of a chick within four days of the egg being laid. This non-destructive method picks up on differences in the fluids contained in an egg from which a cockerel will develop, compared to one from which a hen will hatch.. In the study tests were done on 380 eggs,and the researchers were able to identify the sex of the embryo accurately in 93 percent of cases. The In-ovo testing based on spectral analysis is non-invasive, does not require extraction of egg material, the method is applicable during the fourth day of incubation, before onset of embryo sensitivity at day seven, which is therefore in agreement with animal welfare.