Every year, approximately 7 billion male chickens are slaughtered when they are a day old. Apart from obviously not being able to produce eggs, male chickens grow too slowly to be used for meat production. After they hatch, males are manually identified and destined for slaughter.
But now new reproductive technologies are focussing on identifying male-bearing eggs soon after fertilisation. Different technologies being developed around the world, including Australia, can detect male-bearing eggs well before they hatch. Instead of hatching, these eggs can be frozen before a mature chick develops and can then be sold for use in other industries.
This is an amazing example of how reproductive technology can be harnessed for ethical agriculture practice and to improve economic outcomes. Read more here.