Fifty percent of chicken hatchlings are male but commercial hatcheries need only female chicks. As a result, over 22-million day-old male chicks are culled yearly in Canada as the final step in the gender sorting of incubated eggs. Globally, the number is closer to seven billion—that’s “billion” with a “B.” The process, banned in the EU as of 2022, is unethical, wasteful, costly, and an inefficient use of skilled labour. Add to the issue of culling the fact that 10‑to‑15% of eggs are infertile or do not hatch, and one can see the need for an innovative solution to the sector’s built-in inefficiencies.
Enter Montreal-based MatrixSpec Solutions Inc. and its Hyper-Eye tool, which uses a non-invasive blend of hyperspectral imaging, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to determine the fertility and gender of pre-incubated eggs.
MatrixSpec boasts a bench-level accuracy rate above 95% and has conducted promising large-scale trials in a hatchery under commercial conditions. This project will address issues identified during those trials with a view to closing in on Hyper-Eye’s eventual commercialisation, and its potential to create a seismic shift in the global poultry industry. Because the technology offers the first non-invasive solution to what is a worldwide problem, its success will enhance Canada’s international reputation as an agri-food innovation leader.
Total Project Value
Dr. Laura Liu
Chief Technology Officer
MatrixSpec Solutions Inc.