Sex selection in layer chickensT. 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
A Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity, Geelong, Vic. 3219, Australia.
B Corresponding author. Email: Timothy.Doran@csiro.au
Animal Production Science 58(3) 476-480 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN16785
Submitted: 2 December 2016 Accepted: 20 April 2017 Published: 9 June 2017
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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