Jumbo Supermarket chain from The Netherlands started selling table eggs from layer flocks of which the male line has not been culled. This is thanks to new technology which enables “in ovo” sexing (sex determination in the egg), rather than sexing of day old chicks. For decades this was common practice, with the male line to be culled. In The Netherlands alone, this number reaches 40 million male chicks annually and 300 million for the entire EU.
However, in France and Germany already, new legislation has been adopted to prohibit this practice. In these two countries, as of the first of January 2022, the culling of male chicks will be prohibited. It is likely that other EU countries will follow soon thereafter. This is logical, as from an animal welfare point of view, culling live chicks is no longer acceptable.
This seems to have come to an end now. Various methods have been and are still being researched. But the Sellegt method is now ready for practice. It was developed in Germany, in close cooperation with Leipzig University and supermarket chain Rewe. With this method, gender of the chick can be determined at day 9 of the incubation process. It works through laser technology, combined with a marker fluid that indicates whether the chick inside is male or female.
Layer hatchery Ter Heerdt from The Netherlands is the first in the country to sell layers which were hatched from eggs, of which the gender was detected through “in ovo” sexing . Table eggs which have been laid by these layers, are available in Jumbo supermarkets and are marked with a “respeggt” stamp. Also other supermarkets in the EU such as Carrefour in France, Rewe and Penny in Germany will gradually adopt this new technology and sell “respeggt” eggs.
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