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Scientists developed a gene-edited hen that prevents the development of male embryos when the egg is under blue light. This could solve the male culling issue.

Israeli scientists developed a gene-edited hen that could prevent the slaughter of billions of male chicks yearly. Male chicks are of no use to the egg-laying industry because they can’t lay eggs. They are also unwanted by the meat industry because they aren’t fast-growing broilers. It’s estimated that seven billion male chicks are culled using cruel methods.

According to Treehugger, the Golda hen has DNA edited into it. This stops the development of male embryos when the egg is exposed to blue light. The blue light doesn’t affect the female embryos. They are completely safe to consume and don’t have any edited material.

“Dr. Yuval Cinnamon of the Volcani Institute and chief scientist for this project spoke to the BBC. "Farmers will get the same chicks they get today, and consumers will get exactly the same eggs they get today. The only minor difference in the production process is that the eggs will be exposed to blue light."

This gene edit doesn’t have a detrimental effect on animal health and welfare. It’s less intrusive than the current alternatives. This project has the potential to overhaul the livestock production system and find a place for both female and male chicks. 

Marina is passionate about sustainability and works to help ensure our planet stays as our home for a long time. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and not buying single-use plastic.

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