Bioimpedance-Measurement-Based Non-Invasive Method for In Ovo Chicken Egg Sexing

Biosensors (Basel). 2023 Mar 30;13(4):440. doi: 10.3390/bios13040440.


Day-old male chick culling is one of the world's most inhumane problems in the poultry industry. Every year, seven billion male chicks are slaughtered in laying-hen hatcheries due to their higher feed exchange rate, lower management than female chicks, and higher production costs. This study describes a novel non-invasive method for determining the gender of chicken eggs. During the incubation period of fourteen days, four electrodes were attached to each egg for data collection. On the last day of incubation, a standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based chicken gender determination protocol was applied to the eggs to obtain the gender information. A relationship was built between the collected data and the egg's gender, and it was discovered to have a reliable connection, indicating that the chicken egg gender can be determined by measuring the impedance data of the eggs on day 9 of incubation with the four electrodes set and using the self-normalization technique. This is a groundbreaking discovery, demonstrating that impedance spectroscopy can be used to sex chicken eggs before they hatch, relieving the poultry industry of such an ethical burden.

Keywords: bioimpedance; egg gender; egg sexing; in ovo; non-invasive.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Ovum*
  • Sex Determination Analysis*