Hendrix Genetics, Orbem launch of MRI-based technology for in-ovo sexing

The Genus Focus can sex any chicken breed
calendar icon 9 May 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Hendrix Genetics, a leader in multi-species breeding and genetics and Orbem, a leading deep-tech imaging and AI technology company, recently announced the successful launch of Orbem’s Genus Focus system in the Hendrix Genetics laying hen hatchery in Mûr-de-Bretagne, France. The Genus Focus is an MRI-based high throughput non-invasive solution for in-ovo sexing of poultry eggs of any breed.

The modular solution combines Orbem’s imaging and classification technology with automation equipment of the Vencomatic Group (VMG) to enable reliable and non-invasive real-time sex determination of poultry embryos on day 12 of incubation. The French installation has the capacity to analyze 250.000 eggs daily. With the implementation of this technology, the hatchery meets current French and German regulations, and thus KAT standards (Association for Controlled Alternative Animal Husbandry) against the culling of male one-day-old chicks.

“The successful launch of in-ovo sexing technology in our operations is an important step in our vision to set the standard for sustainable animal breeding," said Gosse Veninga, director of product excellence at Hendrix Genetics. "The system delivers a high level of automation and efficiency to ensure that the process can be completed on a large scale in our commercial hatchery. The result is a key achievement in animal welfare and overall sustainability in the industry."

Image copyright: Orbem GmbH
Genus scans and sorts in-ovo sexed eggs in a non-invasive way.

Orbem’s team of 35 scientists and engineers have developed the proprietary imaging and AI technology behind the Genus Focus, including determining hardware specifications and software data flows required for high throughput analytics. The Dutch-based Vencomatic group (VMG) supplies a newly engineered handling and sorting system for moving, picking, and transporting eggs with great care and throughput.

“We are very pleased to see our AI-powered technology now fully in operation," said Dr. Pedro Gómez, CEO of Orbem. "It is a world premiere as the first fully automated MRI system in an industrial use case based on artificial intelligence. We are grateful to Hendrix Genetics for the early support of our innovative technology solution. The fully automated Genus Focus system is a game-changer for in-ovo sexing because it is completely non-invasive and functions on day 12 and for all poultry breeds, including white, coloured, and brown layers."

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