The British chicken sexing industry is in crisis. In hatcheries up and down the country, golden day-old chicks cascade down conveyor belts waiting to have their gender established, so they can be assigned to lives as roosters or egg-layers.
But, with no new recruits since 2012 – and the value of poultry exports increasing at a rate of five per cent a year – the UK’s 29 qualified professionals are struggling to keep up.
In the interests of helping sustain a burgeoning British industry, I was tasked with arranging a masterclass in how to sex a chick. If the nation realises what is involved (not to mention the £40,000 starting salary), this crisis could be overcome.
National Chick sexing competition in Japan