In Ovo, a spin-off from Leiden University, was founded in 2013 with a single purpose:to end the mass culling of chicks. Every year, 6.5 billion male chicks are culled in the worldwide poultry industry, because the males do not lay eggs. Traditionally, chicks are manually sorted by gender right after hatching and the male chicks are killed. In Ovo has developed a high-throughput screening machine called Ella®, which can identify the gender of eggs before they hatch. This enables hatcheries to only hatch females, eliminating the need for culling the males on an economic and truly industrial scale. Ella marks a huge step forward in animal welfare and the sustainability of the poultry industry.
This growth funding for In Ovo comes at a pivotal moment in the market. An increasing number of countries are making the culling of chicks illegal, whilst in many other countries pressure is mounting from customers, retailers, regulators and NGOs and the industry itself. In Ovo is already working with early adopters and this new funding will enable In Ovo to offer its Ella solution in markets across Europe and beyond.
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