The „PLANTegg“ process

The aim of our innovative process is the gender determination in chicken eggs. This avoids the killing of hatched male day-old chicks in hatcheries during the production of laying hens.

New technologies have been developed and combined for the so-called "PLANTegg" process - a PCR-based method for gender determination of hatching eggs.

This molecular genetic method is based on the fact that the chickens have different gender chromosomes. The PCR technology makes the genetic differences, to be found in the DNA of the allantoic fluid, visible.

PCR-based method for gender determination of hatching eggs

The gender can thus be determined at an early stage of incubation with high precision and very quickly (within one hour). The eggs from which male chicks would hatch can then be sorted out early and used for other purposes. The method can be automated, is infinitely scalable and can therefore be used in both small and large hatcheries.

„This is an industrial applicable system that fully meets all the poultry industry’s requirements for high precision, fast throughput and large capacity. It means that chicks killing can be dispensed with comprehensively,“ said Prof. Dr. Michael Kleine, Managing Director of PLANTegg GmbH.

The PLANTegg process

  • 1

    Access to the Egg

    The hatching eggs are transferred to a robot, which first creates a tiny opening in the hatching egg with the help of a laser beam.

  • 2


    A few drops of the allantoic liquid are taken from this opening with a pipette and transferred to test tubes. The allantoic fluid contains genetic material (DNA) which provides enough information for a genetic examination.

  • 3

    DNA Analysis

    The allantoic fluid is combined with a reactive medium and transferred to a PCR machine. There the multiplication of the specific DNA of the gender chromosomes takes place, so that male and female hatching eggs can be determined with high precision.

  • 4


    Finally, the female eggs are returned to the hatching process and the male eggs are used for other purposes (e.g. as feed).


Press release (03.11.2022): Contract renewal and capacity extension

Press release: PLANTegg on TV

Press release about the ban of chicken culling in Germany

Environmental impact of growing males of layer lines by Prof. Bessei

November 11th, 2021: Shooting of the Bavarian TV team in the hatchery of Terheerdt

Press release (15.10.2021): PCR-TEST against chicken culling – with a precision of 99,5 %

Press release (09.09.2021): Together against chicken culling, hatchery Ter Heerdt and PLANTEGG extend co-operation

Press release (19.07.2021): French-German meeting in Paris to abolish chick culling

Press release (21.05.2021): decision of the German Bundestag to prohibit chick culling

In ovo gender determination, Bavarian TV, 21. January 2021

First hatchery using PLANTEGG technology

Bavarian broadcast reports about PLANTEGG process

ALDI relies on PLANTEGG technology

ALDI abolishes male chick culling

Germany and France want to stop male chick culling

Please contact us

You have questions or would like to get in touch with us. Please don't hesitate to send us a message using the following contact form. We look forward to receiving your message.

Prof. Dr. Michael Kleine

Prof. Dr. Michael Kleine


Groß Hasselrod 2
24159 Kiel


P: +49 (0)431 38015-0 F: +49 (0)431 38015-11