What the Zen-Nippon Chick Sexing School can teach business owners

If you’re a commercial battery egg producer, you need to know how to sex chickens. You’re also a horrible human being, but that’s beside the point here. 

Small, yellow chick in hay, next to a white chicken's egg

Find your niche, just like the chicken-sexers of Japan!

Commercial egg producers must identify female chicks as soon as possible so they don’t waste food, money, and energy feeding unproductive male chicks. It’s horrible, but it makes commercial sense.

(This is just one of the reasons I want to raise my own chickens and always buy organic free-range eggs — not organic because there’s anything wrong with GM, but because organically raised animals tend to be treated much better.)

So, in the world of egg-producing, chicken sexers are king.

But there’s a problem: poultry owners once had to wait until the chicks were five or six weeks old before discovering their sex because it becomes visible when the adult feathers start appearing. At which point the males were… dispatched with.

Enter the Zen-Nippon Chick Sexing School — I shit you not — in Japan. The world’s best chicken sexers come almost exclusively from Japan because they attend two-year courses training people to accurately tell the sex of day-old chicks.

How do they do it?

I’ve no idea. And nor do they, in many cases.

Apparently, if you ask the chicken sexers themselves, they don’t know. They just look at chick butts and “see” that it’s either male or female. A bit like those master chess players who can just “see” what the next move should be, or expert wine tasters who have the uncanny ability to identify wines and vintages, or Dr House (and non-fictional medical diagnosticians) who can diagnose diseases on the basis of subtle information.

The point is, though, that they’re very good at what they do. They’ve found their niche. And you don’t get much more nichey than chicken-sexing.

There are so few chicken sexers in the world, and so much money in commercial egg farming, that a good sexer commands great fees. Because nobody else can do it that well.

Lemme just repeat that:

Expert chicken-sexers command high fees because nobody else can do it that well.

I’ll just leave that thought there with you. And point you towards my book, Business For Superheroes



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS The Art of Chicken Sexing is a goldmine of good ideas. I’m fairly sure you’ll be hearing about chicken sexing from me again. In the meantime, grab a copy of my book for more about niches.

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