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In-Ovo-Selection: German „Bruderhahn-Initiative“ takes a stand

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

In In-Ovo selection, only eggs with female chicks are hatched. © Shutterstock/zlikovec

The German „Bruderhahn Initiative“ (English: „Brother cock Initiative“) has spoken out clearly against sex determination in the egg and killing the male embryos. Only the breeding of a dual-purpose chicken is a real alternative to killing chicks.

In-ovo-selection: Eggs with male embryos are rejected

In order to prevent the controversial killing of male chicks of laying hen hybrids, conventional agriculture relies on in-ovo-selection. The sex of the embryo is determined on the ninth day of hatching. Eggs with male embryos are sorted out so that only laying hen chicks are born. The eggs laid by these hens are then marketed as eggs without chick death - currently tested by the Rewe Group.

Bruderhahn-Initiative criticizes in-ovo-selection

The Bruderhahn Initiative Germany (BID), founded by organic wholesalers and farmers in 2012, rejects this type of selection as does the Demeter Association. The BID critically notes that the organic sector as a whole has so far been unable to come to a joint statement.

In-ovo-selection does not end chick killing

From BID's point of view, the decisive argument against the in-ovo determination is that the chick killing is not stopped by the in-ovo-selection, but the chick is now killed in the egg. On the seventh day at the latest, the embryo is able to experience pain.

In-ovo-selection strengthens monopoly structures in poultry breeding

Nor does the in-ovo-method change the existing monopoly structures that exist in poultry breeding worldwide. "On the contrary, sex determination in eggs would strengthen existing structures even more," writes BID. Since almost 100 percent of the hens used in organic farming come from the large breeding companies, organic poultry farmers and hatcheries would become even more dependent on the agricultural industry.

From the point of view of BID, the breeding of a dual-purpose chicken operated by the German „Ökologische Tierzucht GmbH ÖTZ“ (English: „Organic Animal Breeding Ltd“)  is therefore the only sustainable alternative to killing chicks. This breeding must go on, as first successes are presentable.



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