Around 300 million male chicks face a tragic death each year in the United States alone. As unwanted by-products of the egg industry, their fate is sealed from the start.
However, this may all change by 2020.
The technology developed by Novatrans determines the sex of embryos by analyzing the gases coming out of the egg pores. The possibility of knowing whether the embryo is male or female in seconds would undoubtedly be a revolution to the egg industry.
Chad Gregory, president and CEO of United Egg Producers that are responsible for 95% of all US egg production issued a statement earlier this year about his commitment to the elimination of male chick culling by 2020.
It is only a matter of time before the practice becomes officially history.
Researchers all over the world are coming up with ways of determining the sex of embryos before incubation.
Egg Farmers of Ontario are funding researchers at McGill University in Montreal who hope to commercialize their technique, hyperspectral imaging, by spring of next year. Hyperspectral imaging works by shining an infrared light through eggs containing embryos to compare the distribution of cells, male and female having a different set.
Germans are also working on a technology, as their government has announced its will to end male chick culling by 2017.
The competition between all these companies for possible contracts could speed up change in the egg industry.
As Chad Gregory himself puts it, there is a considerable demand for a technology that could end male chick culling in the egg industry. The first company to seize on the opportunity will potentially be worth billions.