A Sexer for Poultry works in a hatchery where eggs are incubated and hatched to produce young birds such as chickens or ducklings. Males need to be separated from females, so first the gender of the birds must be identified. This requires close examination by a Sexer.
If the young birds have been bred and hatched to produce eggs for the food chain as mature ‘layers’, only the female birds will be required.
Birds bred for meat will also sometimes be sexed depending on individual company requirements.
To determine the sex of the young birds, care needs to be taken in the catching, handling, examination and movement, to ensure that birds are not stressed or harmed.
Sexers will generally work as least 39 hours per week, but may need to work paid overtime during busy periods.
Most sexing takes place in the early morning. There are also opportunities for part-time and casual work.
Most Sexers would work inside where young birds are hatched and cared for in warm, monitored conditions.
Salaries vary with experience, qualifications and between companies, but here's a guide to what you can expect.
To work in the poultry industry you will need to like working with birds.
New entrants or those with less than a year’s experience in the poultry industry would need to attend short training courses to ensure they are trained to the minimum standard as set by the British Poultry Training Initiative.
It is the employer’s duty to provide the training as required in order to meet their farm assurance standards.
For more information about poultry careers visit the British Poultry Council.
What experienced workers can do
- Maintain site biosecurity
- Assist with preparing livestock for transfer
- Assist with the selection of livestock
- Handle and restrain livestock.
Personal qualities you should have
- Work in a team
- Work on your own
- Communication skills
Sexing is a very specialist role which takes a lot of training to become skilled at. Most Sexers do this as a profession – some could progress to a Senior Sexer responsible for a team.
Due to the size and structure of the poultry industry there are many opportunities to progress and move between farms and companies.
The British Poultry Training Initiative keeps a record of all the training you have completed, similar to a CV, called the Poultry Passport. This can be accessed and updated as you progress through the industry and between poultry industry employers.