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Hatchery Researcher

  • Ochten, Poppel (BE) and Leiden (alternating locations), Gelderland, Netherlands

Job description

What will you get:

  • A salary between €3,000 - €5,500, depending on your working experience
  • An annual budget of €1,500 for personal development
  • 25 days of holiday per year and the option to buy more
  • Learning and personal growth opportunities
  • A job at a cool company that’s growing quickly


  • Have a Bachelor of Applied Sciences or Master degree in Animal Husbandry/Science or related
  • Are curious, willing to ask questions, and enjoy engaging with various stakeholders at hatcheries.
  • Possess genuine dedication to advancing poultry animal welfare.
  • Have demonstrated understanding of hatchery operations from a business perspective (a plus!).
  • Have a basic understanding of or willing to learn Dutch
  • Have a driver’s license and access to a motorized vehicle for transportation

What you will do

We have created a technique to find out whether a hatching egg holds a male or a female chick, so we can prevent the male chicks from hatching. This leads to a big animal welfare win, and a very interesting, yet complex process.

Our machine, Ella, is designed to carefully take a sample of fluid from the hatching egg, making sure not to hit the bird-to-be inside. These tiny drops are analyzed using a mass spectrometer to see whether the egg holds a male or female.

Joining our poultry team, you will play a vital role in In Ovo's Ella project, focusing on improving animal welfare and refining technology. You role will both be hands-on as diving into the theory. For example, if the process parameters deviate you will be the person to figure out what might be the cause from a biological perspective. In addition to understanding the incubation/hatchery process, you should also be willing to learn how Ella works.

Your responsibilities include:

  • Providing insights on monitoring, maintaining, and improving embryo viability and hatchability within hatcheries
  • Conducting literature research and investigate industry trends to find potential opportunities
  • Designing, coordinating, and executing experiments in collaboration with colleagues and R&D partners
  • Generating comprehensive experiment reports for internal sharing
  • Cultivating relationships and liaising with hatcheries and other industry stakeholders
  • Serving as a knowledgeable resource for the In Ovo team and hatchery managers regarding the incubation process

Job requirements

Our introduction (not boring, we’re cool)

In 2011, the first In Ovo pipettes hit the lab. The goal was clear: to stop the unnecessary killing of day old male chicks.

The first samples were carefully taken by hand. It took some years to get there, but in 2016, it worked: a single drop of the egg’s fluid was enough to see whether it held a boy or a girl. One done, only 13 billion to go.

As you can imagine, we needed a machine.

The first steps into industrialization were taken and a huge impact on animal welfare was lurking. In 2020, our first machine was up and running. We named her Ella. What a beauty.

Taking a huge leap to today’s In Ovo: we’re a team of over 60 people, 3 Ellas and millions of saved chicks. We are engineers, operators, scientists, office people and everything in between. The go-getters of the poultry industry who roll up their sleeves to improve animal welfare. And Ella is just the beginning.

We believe that animals deserve a dignified place in a sustainable food industry. And we need way more people to fulfil our mission of improving the lives of 5 billions animals by 2030.

Are you with us?

Interested but still in doubt?

If you find the position interesting but have a few doubts, that is completely understandable.

Candidates who think they do not fully meet all the requirements tend to refrain from applying for certain positions. Unfortunately, this is more prevalent among women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

So, we welcome applicants even if they have some doubts. We’d be happy to have a chat.

Please apply by sending your CV and tell us something about yourself. If you have any questions, get in touch with Marjolein van Vliet, Recruiter, at +31 642489853 or via

Acquisition for this vacancy is not appreciated.


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