Skip to main content

EggXYt: A novel approach for sexing chicken embryos on day one before incubation - saving them from being hatched and disposed.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - eggXYt (EggXYt: A novel approach for sexing chicken embryos on day one before incubation - saving them from being hatched and disposed.)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2017-08-31

THE PROBLEM: Current solutions to determine the sex of chicken are invasive, expensive and present several limitations.
In the layer industry, chicks are culled (culling is the process of killing newly hatched poultry for which the industry has no use) by billions worldwide, on an annually basis via suffocation or grinding or even more cruel methods. The males (or cockerels) are terminated since they are not useful for laying eggs or to be bread for meat and the weak or unhealthy females are being terminated as well. Thus, more than 6 billion male chicks are killed on day of hatching generating an annual loss of 1.5-2.5 Billion Dollars (cost of unnecessary hatching, human employees as sexers, transport to hatcheries, waste management, associated carbon emissions, ethical and environmental impacts.

THE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: a method for in-ovo, or embryo sex-determination prior to hatching (incubation) is thus highly desired due to both ethical and economic considerations.
1) There is a large and fast growing market, UN projections are that the consumption of eggs and poultry shall double within 30 years to 181 million tonnes of poultry and 102 million tonnes of eggs. Which will increase the volume of the practice of male chick culling: The estimated cost of hatching one egg and the process of gender selection and waste management is ~10 cents per egg.
2) European legislators are dealing with the problem. Germany has banned the practice of culling of male chicks and then lifted the ban while dedicating resources towards finding a solution and committing to adopt technological solutions once they become available . In addition, an end to the practice of killing male layer chicks in hatcheries is being sought by a coalition of 36 members of parliament from all sides of the French government .
3) The community (at European and worldwide level) is facing two main challenges: (1) developing resource-efficient and cost-effective solutions to secure sufficient supplies of safe, healthy and high quality food and other bio-based products and (2) developing productive, sustainable and resource-efficient primary production systems, fostering related ecosystem services and the recovery of biological diversity, alongside competitive and low-carbon supply, processing and marketing chains.

eggXYt has developed, a patented method –using cutting edge technologies in biology and optics - to detect the sex of the 1day embryo immediately after being laid and before entering the 21-day incubation process. In other words, we are developing the morning after pill for chicks!!! eggXYt’s solution can be used in both breeds of chickens, layers and broilers and the turkey industry, to help make the hatcheries more cost-effective by saving on incubation, feed, and labour expenses, dedicating resources just on productive units. This way, our clients - hatcheries (and practically the whole industry and end costumers) are saving money and we are creating value out of the otherwise wasted eggs. In addition, “greener” eggs can be sold for a higher price due to their “greenness” as cage free eggs etc. Price is higher, they will not need to deal with chick culling and can use the unhatched male containing eggs in secondary markets where eggs are used as an ingredient (e.g. cosmetics, pharma, pastry etc.). We are bringing a novel approach that contributes to i) Saving over 6 billion chicks lives annually ii) Saving the industry 1.5-2.5 Billion dollars annually and iii) adding over 6 billion eggs to the global food supply. In the Broiler industry, sex separation at the raring stage can save trillions of Eeros annually, by optimizing the feed amount between males and females and other benefits
We carried out the following activities:

Market research
Increased partnerships, collaborations and rewards

eggXyt is a triple bottom line impact enterprise saving Billions of chicks, Billions of dollars and not only saving tons of waste, but creating a valuable product out of it. By doing so we are disrupting the chicken and egg industries an improving the way the most important and common protein source in the world is produced.
eggXYt market research found that the financial outcome of eggXYt’s technologies will save the wasted capacity of hatcheries, the cost of sexing by highly skilled human employees (sometime imported from other countries) and adding over 6 billion eggs to the global food supply.
More industry benefits that were found during the research:
o We found the benefits of sex detection also in the 58 billion broiler segment of the market. A recent study shows huge savings on feed cost if male/female broilers are raised separately: “Returns over feed cost were estimated for a 1.8 million broiler complex. Overall, rearing birds that were sex separated resulted in extra income that ranged from $48,824 to $330,300 per week, depending on the market targeted and feed meat price scenarios. Sex separation was shown to be especially important in disadvantageous scenarios in which feed prices were high”.
o Sex detection by human employees after hatching is expensive, non accurate (10% error) and causes damage to some chicks.
o The added that is created for the eggs marketed as “non male chick culled eggs” – these eggs can be sold for a higher price, similar to cage fee, range free, organic fed etc.
o The ability to repurpose 6 billion non-incubated male eggs that can be sold to the food, pharma and cosmetics industries as a product.
Savings on C2O emmisions and waste management.