Summary of the technology
A system that can sort avian eggs by detecting pre-incubation fertility and pre-hatching sexing in a non-invasive procedure
Project ID : 8-2009-2198
Description of the technology
Detects the fertility levels in newly-laid eggs and the gender of the embryo
Agriculture, Animal Science/Veterinary Medicine,
Proof of concept; preliminary studies with excellent results
U.S. patent application filed
The number of "laying hens" in the world was estimated at 5690 million in 2006, producing just over 66 million metric tons of eggs. Global egg production has been exploding in recent decades, tripling its numbers since 1970.
- The ability to determine the fertility level of a chicken egg and its gender significantly reduces costs of egg production.
- Currently, we are unable to determine the fertility of newly laid eggs – the 10%-40 % of eggs that are infertile are hatched for 10 days until identified by candling – using space and energy, costly manpower.
- No current method exists to determine gender during hatching; it is only possible in 12-day old chicks – nearly half of all chicks hatched for the layer industry hatch as males and need to be culled, creating ethical issues.
- Our technology enables fertility determination of a freshly-laid egg (day zero) with 85% accuracy; determination of fertility on days 1 and 2 with 90% accuracy
Hyperspectral analysis of optical spectrum of avian egg for non-invasive determination of egg fertility and gender.
- Spectra include a wider range of wavelengths making this method significantly more sensitive
- Enables both detection of fertility earlier than day 2 and detection of the gender of the chick within the egg
Seeking funds for large-scale trials for several thousand different kinds of eggs
- Can be used for layers, broilers, and turkey eggs
- Can be used for non-invasive gender determination of hatched birds such as parrots