ITS fair to say last week's Craven curiosity was very much a 'niche' object - in fact, when reader Richard Throup made his suggestion, all of us here in the office were in stitches, thinking he was joking. It is indeed as Richard says, a device to sex young chickens, or the delightfully named 'Chixexer', which was used by poultry farmers to determine at an early stage whether chicks were males or females. In the harsh world of commercial hatcheries, the majority of cockerels are killed within days of hatching as they serve no purpose in egg production.

Experts at Craven Museum, where the device is on show, tell us the method is rarely used these days, as the instruments are no longer available, and spare parts are hard to come by.

"This instrument, the Keeler Optical, has a blunt ended telescopic tube which is inserted into the chick’s evacuated cloaca (anal vent) and with the help of the light can identify the reproductive organs. This technique is reliant on the capability of the user and their level of experience. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation, in 2009 the world population of chickens was 50 billion, with six billion raised in the EU, nine billion in the US and seven billion in China."

Suggestions for this week's curiosity should be sent no later than 8am on Monday to