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When will most eggs produced in the USA be sexed before hatching?

Chickens are generally either bred for egg-laying performance, or an ability to fatten and grow quickly. While both males and females are fattened in broiler production, there is currently no economically worthwhile use of the male offspring of egg-laying chickens, as these cannot lay eggs. Therefore, day-old male chicks are destroyed in the layer hatchery (Krautwald-Junghanns et al., 2017). Approximately 370 million chicks in North America are culled annually (Gali et al. 2017a).

As the red blood cells of birds possess a nucleus, they also carry the genetic sex information. Using spectroscopic techniques, the sex of an egg can be determined three days after it has been fertilised (Galli et al, 2017b). In egg sexing of a chick’s sex while still in the egg is might reduce the number of male chicks that are killed shortly after hatching.

There is a substantial effort to develop in ovo technologies at a low enough price to be commercially viable, with companies reportedly developing the relevant technologies in Germany, Israel, Canada and the Netherlands.

When will most eggs produced in the USA be sexed before hatching??


This resolves as the estimated date when U.S.-based hatcheries that produce at least 50% of the total number of eggs produced in the U.S. eggs that year successfully sex their hen flock replacement eggs, in ovo.

For the purposes of this question, successful sexing occurs if:

  1. techniques are used that correctly identify the sex in a majority of cases, and

  2. at least a majority of those identified to be male are destroyed before hatching.

Estimates of when this threshold is reached should originate from credible independent sources, preferably by nonprofit research organisations (e.g. the Good Food Institute) or other nonprofit organisations, or governmental organisations, such as the USDA, or FAO, or independent researchers. In case no estimates of when this occurred can be found, an admin should contact the aforementioned types credible independent sources and request these for their relevant staff for credible estimates. In case of multiple estimates, an admin may decide to resolve on the basis of the median. In case no estimates can be sourced, the question shall resolve ambiguously.


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