The first ‘no-kill’ chicken eggs have gone on sale, using new technology which could potentially save billions of chicks’ lives a year.
German company Seleggt developed a way to tell if an egg contains a male or female chick. This means, rather than being killed at birth, male chick eggs can be discarded before they hatch.
Seven billion male chicks are killed by being gassed or chucked into grinders each year, as they do not lay eggs and do not grow fast enough to be sold for meat.
After four years of research the new eggs, called Reggspect, have been introduced to supermarkets in Berlin.
Managing director Ludger Breloh told the Guardian: “If you can determine the sex of a hatching egg you can entirely dispense with the culling of live male chicks.
“It’s not about winning or losing. We all have the same goal, which is to end the culling of chicks in the supply chain. Of course, there’s competition, but it’s positive in that it keeps us all focused on that goal.”
The eggs are more expensive than standard supermarket eggs, but the company hopes shoppers will be happy to pay a premium to avoid the mass slaughter of male chicks.
The chick’s gender can be detected nine days after fertilisation and male eggs are then processed into animal feed, while female chicks are hatched after 21 days.
Seleggt uses a small laser to create a tiny hole in the shell, a drop of fluid is squeezed out of the egg using air pressure, and this fluid can help determine the chick’s sex.
What do you think of Seleggt’s new eggs? Tell us in the comments below!
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