HatchTech Unveils HatchCare System for North America at 2017 IPPE
At a breakfast meeting arranged by HatchTech of Holland, representatives of the Company and a client provided details of the HatchCare system including presentation of field data from a broiler cooperative in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The HatchCare system comprises a special two-tier hatching tray. Eggs are placed in an upper compartment where they hatch over an approximately 24 hour period depending on strain, temperature and humidity within the hatcher, age of the parent flock and egg size. As each chick emerges, it falls by gravity through apertures in the upper egg tray onto the holding tray. This is equipped with two feed reservoirs and allows chicks to drink from troughs located on either side of the hatcher wall.
The advantages of the system relate to the fact that chicks can eat and drink as soon as they have dried. Early hatchlings do not remain for many hours undergoing dehydration as occurs on a conventional hatch tray according to Joost ter Heerdt of HatchTech.
The results obtained by Synergy a cooperative in Nova Scotia were described by Doug Kaiser based on the first year of operation. Admittedly installed in a small hatchery, producing approximately 200,000 chicks per week, the Canadian facility has achieved a 4 percent increase in overall hatchability and a 5 gram increase in chick weight.
Results of broiler flocks showed an increase in live weight from 2.30 kg to 2.55 kg and a reduction in feed conversion efficiency of 1.76 to 1.69 in broilers grown from chicks derived from the HatchCare units compared to conventional hatchers.
Average mortality at harvest was reduced to 2.2 percent yielding a European efficiency index of 355 compared to 300 before conversion to the HatchCare system. Four-day chick mortality declined by 7 percent to 0.5 percent and 10-day mortality was reduced by 8 percent to a steady 1.0 percent.
Kaiser noted that performance from older houses and from units operated by farmers previously achieving consistently low performance increased to attain standard following placement of chicks produced in the HatchCare system. According to Erik Helmink, Director of Marketing for HatchTech there are 35 machines in operation in Germany producing 6.5 million chicks per week. In Holland about 2.8 million chicks per week are delivered from HatchCare installations.
Orders have been received for 35 hatchers to be installed among two hatcheries each in Germany and Holland. The HatchCare system cannot be retrofitted to an existing facility without complete replacement of existing incubators but the system is under active review and consideration for new hatcheries and facilities with obsolete incubators which are scheduled for replacement.
The HatchCare system is compatible with current in ovo vaccination equipment with appropriate modifications to accommodate the two-level hatcher tray.