Sexing Chicks for Dummies

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWith no disrespect to supermarkets that got their start in Orange County or the mighty sugar beet, the most interesting thing on the agenda of Saturday's 10th Annual Historical Cemetery Tour in Santa Ana has to be the lesson in the art of chick sexing.

Sure poultry farmers could wait the four-to-six weeks it takes for chickens to develop apparent sexual traits before sorting the hens from the roosters, but where's the fun in that? And since "sorting" often means tossing the worthless-to-the-egg-industry males into grinders, farmers save money by sexing chicks early.

Developed in the 1930s, the vent sexing method involves literally squeezing the shit out of the day old chicks and then examining the cloaca (the dual use excretory/sexual opening) for a "male eminence" or lack thereof. Pros can sort more than 1000 an hour with up to 99% accuracy.

If you think chick sexing sounds dirty, you're not alone. Coincidentally, a re-airing of a Dirty Jobs episode featuring the practice airs Saturday at 1:00pm on the Discovery Channel. Dirty, maybe, but a career in this specialized field lets you lay claim to a pretty badass job title: Chick Sexer.

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