Rare `sexing' skill valued highly in the poultry world

by 5m Editor
29 July 2005, at 12:00am

US - So much depends on Tai Toelken, his false thumbnail and an almost mystical ability to draw a simple distinction 1,200 times an hour. Toelken is what&#39;s known as a poultry sexer. His work is to detect the minuscule anatomical differences between newly hatched male and female turkey poults. And he&#39;s paid quite well to do it 2 million times a year. In the business of birds, Toelken is a rare and coveted breed of worker. So important is the task that specially trained sexers - typically from Korea - immigrate to do a job many poultry experts cannot. In fact, without the services of a few dozen sexers in Missouri, the state&#39;s thriving turkey industry would likely collapse. That often strikes Toelken as fascinating when he sits down to sort birds at the Ag Forte hatchery in Neosho. The plant is a temple of poultry science and breeding technology, where a finely calibrated orchestra of gadgets harmonizes to hatch 11 million birds a year. <i>Source:</i>

5m Editor