Non-Invasive Method for Identifying Gender and Fertility of Eggs Before Hatching

Rozenboim Israel, HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Animal Sciences
Ben Dor Eyal

Detects the fertility levels in newly-laid eggs and the gender of the embryo


Agriculture, Animal Science/Veterinary Medicine,
Animal Breeding/Genetics

Development Stage

Proof of concept; preliminary studies with excellent results

Patent Status

U.S. patent application filed

Market Size

The number of "laying hens" in the world was estimated at 5690 million in 2006, producing just over 66 million metric tons of eggs. Global egg production has been exploding in recent decades, tripling its numbers since 1970.


  • The ability to determine the fertility level of a chicken egg and its gender significantly reduces costs of egg production.
  • Currently, we are unable to determine the fertility of newly laid eggs – the 10%-40 % of eggs that are infertile are hatched for 10 days until identified by candling – using space and energy, costly manpower.
  • No current method exists to determine gender during hatching; it is only possible in 12-day old chicks – nearly half of all chicks hatched for the layer industry hatch as males and need to be culled, creating ethical issues.
  • Our technology enables fertility determination of a freshly-laid egg (day zero) with 85% accuracy; determination of fertility on days 1 and 2 with 90% accuracy

Our Innovation

Hyperspectral analysis of optical spectrum of avian egg for non-invasive determination of egg fertility and gender.

Key Features

  • Spectra include a wider range of wavelengths making this method significantly more sensitive
  • Enables both detection of fertility earlier than day 2 and detection of the gender of the chick within the egg

Development Milestones

Seeking funds for large-scale trials for several thousand different kinds of eggs


The Opportunity

  • Can be used for layers, broilers, and turkey eggs
  • Can be used for non-invasive gender determination of hatched birds such as parrots

Patent Status

Granted US 9,435,732; Israel 217177

Contact for more information:

Ilya Pittel
Contact ME: