Automating the broiler sex sorting process in the hatchery could help improve bird growth, welfare and uniformity.

Electro-optical sex sorting technology offers several benefits for poultry operations, including reduced feed and improved feed conversion ratio (FCR), a more uniform product at the processing stage and improved animal welfare.

“Companies are willing to pay extra to get uniform chicks,” Menashe Tamir, CEO, Eshet Eilon, said at the 2022 Poultry Tech Summit. In addition, “uniform product in chicken houses helps the workflow.”

The technology can also collect data for better analysis and quality control at the breeder, incubation and/or farm level.

How it works

The patent-pending technology uses reflected light captured by high-quality digital cameras to sort the broiler chicks according to their feather pattern by sex, as well as by weight and external defects.

Currently, all chick sexing in the poultry industry is conducted manually, which can be costly. In addition, it is becoming difficult to find and retain workers that are experienced at sorting. Automating the process can help solve these issues.

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“Because advantages are so big in separating the broiler chicks by sex, companies don’t need to justify this, but they don’t want to spend a lot of money in hiring people to separate the chicks,” Tamir added.

A prototype of the technology in Israel has already sorted nearly a million chicks with 95% accuracy and a full-scale machine in development will handle up to 50,000 chicks an hour.

Attend the 2023 Poultry Tech Summit

Join an exclusive international gathering of industry-changing innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, technology experts, investors and leading poultry producers at the 2023 edition of Poultry Tech Summit on November 6-8 at the Hilton Atlanta Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Attendees can expect the same groundbreaking innovation and insightful presentations that made the previous events well-attended with deep dialogue on new prospective solutions and next-generation technologies. Poultry Tech Summit focuses on the transition of innovative technologies into commercial applications to advance the poultry industry.

Registration for this event will open in the spring of 2023.