The solutions

At respeggt, we aim to substantially contribute to ending chick culling.
Currently, we offer three processes to achieve this:

The SELEGGT process –
gender identification in the hatching egg

By using the patented SELEGGT process, respeggt can prevent the hatching of male chicks, thus saving them from an ethically questionable fate.

This process is based on endocrinological gender identification in the hatching egg, which uses hormone analysis to determine whether the hatching egg is male or female.

Laser perforation of the eggshell

On the ninth day of the incubation process, a small drop of liquid is extracted from the eggs. This is a non-invasive procedure, meaning that the inner part of the hatching egg is not affected and is therefore left unharmed.

The drop of liquid extracted from the hatching egg is analysed using a patented marker. A distinctive colour change in the sample immediately indicates whether the hatching egg is male or female.

According to the result of this test, the eggs are sorted into male and female eggs. The male eggs are then used to produce high-quality animal feed that is an important component of feed recipes for farm animals.

The female eggs continue incubation until the chicks hatch. As a result of the gender identification process, only female chicks hatch after the 21 days of incubation. These then become laying hens for respeggt eggs.

Learn more about how the SELEGGT process works in the following video.

Gender identification in the hatching egg using the SELEGGT process is a unique, patented process for endocrinological gender identification in the hatching egg that was developed by SELEGGT GmbH. This process was developed from ground research carried out by scientists at the University of Leipzig.

Further processes of gender identification in the hatching egg

The companies PlantEGG and In Ovo also perform processes of gender identification in the hatching egg on the ninth day of the incubation process.
respeggt recognizes these two processes as sustainable solutions to ending chick culling and conducts a control of their supply chains according to the respeggt requirements. As a result, eggs from PlantEGG or In Ovo supply chains can also be distributed with the heart-shaped respeggt label.

The fattening of respeggt male layer chicks

The fattening of respeggt male layer chicks (also called layer brothers or laying hen brothers) means that the brothers of the respeggt laying hens are hatched and raised. This type of rearing takes more than twice as long as the comparable fattening of conventional broiler races and consumes additional resources, such as animal feed. For this reason, the fattening of male layer chicks is, in our view, not the most sustainable solution to ending chick culling. However, it may serve as a suitable transitional solution, e.g., when converting an entire country’s egg products to “Free of Chick Culling”. To enable this change, respeggt also offers the control of supply chains for the fattening of male layer chicks.

respeggt has defined its own high requirements for these supply chains. Among others, these requirements include:

  • The male and female chicks must come from the same hatch.
  • Material, such as pecking stones or straw bales to keep the birds occupied, as well as perches offering them an alternative to the barn floor, must be present.
  • The feed must be free from genetic engineering.
  • Beaks must not be shortened.
  • The meat of the respeggt male layer chicks must be used to produce high-quality foodstuffs.

These requirements are the only way to ensure animal-friendly rearing and provide our respeggt guarantee “Free of Chick Culling”. Female respeggt chicks are raised to become respeggt laying hens that will later hatch respeggt eggs.