Chick Sexer: The $60K a Year Job Nobody Wants

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From Netflix's "binge-watching" tagger, to Tetley tea's "tea-taster" and Ben and Jerry's ice cream "flavor developer"; there's some fascinating and attractive jobs out there.

However, the British public is turning its nose up at a job that pays up to £40,000 ($61,300) a year that involves spending all day with fluffy baby animals. In recent years, the U.K. poultry farming sector has seen a shortage in the role of a "chick sexer"; a job that requires individuals to identify the gender of a newborn chick.

Once seen as a popular job in places like Japan, fewer people are showing an interest, with the U.K. only having a current total of 100 to 150 "chick sexers." The lack of trained workers is resulting in a shortage in chick exports, which could result in the UK losing valuable business. So why is there a lack of interest? There are two common techniques used to determine the gender of a day-old chick: "vent sexing" and "feather sexing."

Vent sexing requires inspecting the inside of a chick's (rear end), to identify the gender. "Feather sexing" however, is less intrusive and distinguishes whether a chick is a hen or rooster by the shape and length of its wings. Vent sexing requires a minimum of three years' training, so workers can develop a minimum speed of checking 700 chicks every hour (average), with a 98 percent accuracy rate.

In a job advertisement published on, a U.K. government website, employees would be paid £3 ($4.60) for every 100 chicks, and with an examination total of up to 1.5 million chicks per year.


-- Alexandra Gibbs