LOHMANN Deutschland has said it will install a Seleggt in-ovo sexing machine in its hatchery in Ankum, Germany, this summer.

Germany banned the culling of male chicks from 1 January this year, and Lohmann said it had until now followed the ban by implementing other methods such as rearing male chicks for slaughter.

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But it would now install Seleggt’s technology, which can identify the sex of a chick from day 9.

With the system, fertile eggs have a microscopic hole cut into the shell using a laser before a sample of allantoic fluid is removed.

The allantoic fluid of female hatching eggs contains estrone sulphate, a female gender hormone.

Ludger Breloh, managing director of the Respeggt Group, said: “We are very happy about this new cooperation with LOHMANN Deutschland.

‘Right signal’

“Despite the uncertainty about the possible upcoming restrictions from 2024, we have decided together that this is the right signal for the sector.

“With the installation of the SELEGGT process in Germany, a resource-saving and earliest possible technology will be made available.

Economically viable solutions like this are needed in Germany to put a sustainable end to chick culling.”

Tobias Ferling, managing director of LOHMANN Deutschland, added: “With the cooperation between LOHMANN Deutschland and the Respeggt Group, we offer our customers another accepted and established technology to determine the sex in the hatching egg.

“This means that we are now also able to offer sexed hen chicks from brown and white layers as early as possible.

“Furthermore, the origin from a German hatchery guarantees legal certainty in the promotion of supply chains “Free of Chick Culling.”

More than 6,000 supermarkets and discounters in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland currently list Respeggt “Free of Chick Culling” eggs.