This article was first published by The Times of Israel and is re-posted with permission.
Each year more than seven billion fluffy little yellow chicks worldwide are tossed into a grinder or gassed to death less than 24 hours after hatching because they are of no use to egg producers.
Now, an Israeli startup, eggXYt, has developed technology that can detect their gender before hatching, saving the egg industry nearly $2 billion per year and eliminating the senseless killing.
“These birds will be hatched to their death. This a man-made problem which started hundreds of years ago when humans started selecting eggs for consumption,” says Yehuda Elram, co-founder and CEO of eggXYt.
The killing of male chicks, known as chick culling, is standard practice in all industrialized hatcheries and has haunted animal rights organizations and egg producers for many years, said Elram.
Farmers have been artificially boosting the growth of two kinds of chickens, the so-called “broilers” and “layers.” The broilers are chickens that can grow to 2.5 kilos (5.5 pounds) and are meant to be consumed as meat because of their size. Layer chickens grow to only 400 grams (1 pound), and female layers produce 100 more eggs each year than do broilers.
While female layer chickens are valuable to egg producers because they can lay many eggs over a lifetime, male layer chicks don’t produce eggs nor do they have enough meat on their bodies for eating. So theyare killed immediately after hatching, explained Elram.
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