Kipster commits to adopting in-ovo sexing technology

Its aim is to improve further animal welfare, reduce waste
calendar icon 30 May 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Kipster announced yesterday that it is adopting a new in-ovo sexing technology which it will use as an alternative to culling male chicks, starting in the US this fall, the company said in a press release. The company will be one of the first US egg brands to launch this cutting-edge approach that allows for the sex determination of chick embryos during incubation before they develop sentience, aiming to prevent the hatching of males.

The US egg industry kills over 300 million male chicks each year after they hatch. Kipster’s goal is to utilize all animals born into its farm system, including raising roosters for animal protein. However, the U.S. meat supply chain is not currently set up to process males of the breed commonly used for layer hens. This innovation will allow the company to continue its foundational commitment to animal welfare and zero-waste philosophies.

“In-ovo sexing is a crucial step forward that will allow us to eliminate chick culling right away,” said Ruud Zanders, co-founder of Kipster. “This technology provides an immediate and effective solution as we continue to explore sustainable meat production that meets our high welfare standards.”

As the very first commercial egg producer in the US to not cull its male chicks since its US farm opened in 2022 like it does in Europe, the company had to resort to doing so for the first time this year because of a lack of critical infrastructure and retail market for rooster meat in the US. Undeterred by obstacles and determined to address this ethical concern that is an issue across the egg industry, Kipster’s adoption of in-ovo sexing of embryos is a solution for the company moving forward.

Launching in the Netherlands in 2017, Kipster started climate-neutral egg production in the US in December 2022 and its eggs are available at Kroger and its many other site banners in 28 states. The company invites stakeholders and the public to engage in discussions about this significant change. Input and ideas are welcomed by emailing [email protected] to help prompt more solutions further to Kipster’s ethical and environmental standards.

"The introduction of in-ovo sexing technology will allow specialty egg producers to create a new value-added category of more ethical eggs that will be massively successful in the market," said Robert Yaman, CEO, Innovate Animal Ag. "Cost-effective technological solutions to major challenges like chick culling are critical to modernising the US egg supply chain and restoring consumer trust in animal agriculture. We applaud Kipster for continuing to demonstrate their leadership in the egg industry by being one of the first producers to use this technology in the US."

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