Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Sex selection in layer chickens

T. J. Doran A B , K. R. Morris A , T. G. Wise A , T. E. O’Neil A , C. A. Cooper A , K. A. Jenkins A and M. L. V. Tizard A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity, Geelong, Vic. 3219, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: Timothy.Doran@csiro.au

Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN16785
Submitted: 2 December 2016  Accepted: 20 April 2017   Published online: 9 June 2017

Abstract

The ability to detect and remove male chicks pre-hatch would be a big step forward to the egg-laying and related industries. The current practice of culling male chicks post-hatch creates a major ethical dilemma for many countries. Hatching out and growing male layer chicks is not a sustainable option for farmers. A genetic based in ovo sex selection application would effectively negate the need to cull or grow out male chickens and would contribute to a more sustainable industry with a view to future food security. Recent advancements in avian gene technology allow specific marking of the sex-determining chromosome in chickens so that the males can be identified before hatching and removed before incubation. This provides a simple solution to meet a pressing need for the industry and a leading opportunity for the adoption of biotechnology in animal agriculture.

Additional keywords: genetic engineering, in ovo sexing, transgenics.


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