USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announced the completion of a funded research project at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del., regarding a new method to determine the gender of chicken embryos. The project is part of the association's comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.
In a recently completed research project funded by USPOULTRY, researchers at the University of Delaware, led by Dr. S. Golovan, successfully developed a first-generation prototype of an imaging system to determine fertilization and gender of chicken embryos. The system uses machine vision hardware and algorithms in a light environment to image eggs during the first 30 hours of incubation. The machine proved to be 89 percent accurate for fertilization and 76 percent accurate for sex determination in these early studies.
This process has the potential to be very useful for the poultry industry, allowing removal of infertile eggs from incubation and separation of eggs according to the sex of the embryos. Future studies will focus on improving accuracy and determination of the ideal time for imaging.