You Can Sex a Chicken Egg?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bestpractice, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. bestpractice

    bestpractice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am always looking for new information to expand and broaden my views, and this subject lent itself well to expanding my views. Here is my opinion based on the information I have:

    1) Someone has patented a computer readable medium with a program to determine the sex of an egg by it's shape. This could explain why commercial hatcheries aren't using the method. The patent expires in 2022 and I'm guessing this will change things. http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/7167579/claims.html

    2) Mother Earth News wrote an article on this in 1974. http://www.motherearthnews.com/sustainable-farming/buying-fertilized-chicken-eggs-zmaz74zhol.aspx Additional articles on the subject have been published for many years, but they are all case studies such as this.

    3) I have yet to find an empirical, research based study that would substantiate a false hypothesis correlating egg shape and sex (for the over-educated skeptical people in the crowd such as myself). Certainly someone somewhere has studied this, but where is the published study?

    4) Researchers have recently (2009) discovered the genes and sex chromosomes in birds: http://chickenoreggblog.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/bird-sex-gene-identified/#more-347 . We now know the answer to the riddle: which came first the chicken or the egg? Science now knows the chicken came first. It was long believed the egg came first.

    5) Scientist believe it is the pressure exerted on a hens egg while she is laying that determines the shape of the egg. That is logical, but doesn't go far enough. We know that genes do influence the hardness or pliability of an egg; different breeds lay different eggs with varying degrees of "hardness". Egg shell pliability is influenced by the genes specific to a particular breed. We know this to be true, it is empirical, research based information. Pliability of the egg shell will determine egg shape. This is simple physics. The more pliable the egg shell the more pointed it will be after the hen has exerted pressure on it. The harder the shell the less likely it is to change shape. That is, a hard egg shell will retain its original oval shape after the hen exerts pressure. Why would a female egg need to be harder? What benefit would that have to the species? To perpetuate a species fewer males are needed than females. A hard shelled female egg would be more likely to survive.

    In summary, my educated opinion is this; some breeds of chickens can produce eggs that can be "sexed" to some extent. That is, a statistically significant number of eggs will be male if pointed, female if oval. As in all of nature there are variations and exceptions to every rule.

    Have fun and try to count your chickens before they are hatched. What could it hurt? Don't be surprised if someone has a lot of eggs that can be sexed. "It's in the genes." [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Not to be a skeptic but just let me say, I don't believe it.
    If there WAS truth to it, then there would have to be a LOT of different standards because every breed is different.
    Does that mean all jaerhons are one sex since their eggs are nearly round? Or breeds with elongated eggs that are difficult to tell the large from small end all one sex?
    I've had hundreds of layers from over 25 breeds and I just don't think the egg shape has anything to do with sex.

    Also, hatch rates are usually close to 50/50.

    On a side note, overall there's a dearth of research on egg shells though there are a few hardness studies.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    No, no, 1000x no. Not possible. A hen usually lays the same shape egg all the time. That's the way you can tell which hen lays which egg, that and her color. If she lays the same shape egg all the time, then she would only produce one sex every single time.


    Example:


    My BR hen, Lexie, always laid eggs that were so oval, you had to candle to find the air cell end. She produced male chicks 99% of the time. By those criteria, those should have been all females and I should have some of her daughters, but I never hatched a daughter out of Lexie, unfortunately.
     
  4. bestpractice

    bestpractice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And the evidence you have to support this? I mean, other than your opinion. I respectfully disagree unless I see evidence, research based evidence.
     
  5. bestpractice

    bestpractice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Again, what evidence do you have to support your opinion? I see that you have your personal case study, but not much else to support this conclusion. Without evidence I will respectfully disagree with your opinion.
     
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    This one comes up multiple times every year, around this time of year. The best evidence I an offer in support of it NOT being true is that if it were, all of the big commercial hatcheries would be using that method to sex their eggs prior to setting them, so they didn't end up with a bunch of unwanted roosters. They would be able to operate far more profitably if they could reliably hatch all pullets.
     
  7. bestpractice

    bestpractice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In reference to "all the big commercial hatcheries would be using that method" please see the patent link above. Your argument comes up over and over again.
     
  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    The proof of your concept is in the results.

    Show, don't tell.
     
  9. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Actually, I find that argument ridiculous. All the hatcheries would have to do IF IT WERE POSSIBLE TO SEX AN EGG would be to develop their own method/machinery/what-have-you for doing so, rather than wait for a patent to expire. It would certainly be economically advantageous for them to do it.
     
  10. smac

    smac Out Of The Brooder

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    Just a very quick search lead me to a couple of articles. Here is a study I found.
    http://www.mendeley.com/research/ge...-chicken-eggs-infrared-spectroscopic-imaging/

    I don't think they would have researched to such a degree for determining the sex of a chicken in the egg if the shape would have ever been an indicator.

    Here is another scientific approach, but you have to pay for the information
    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=2176640

    Interesting topic.
     

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