Next generation design for the modern hatchery

After three years of intensive research and development, Dutch hatchery technology company Pas Reform will introduce Circadian Incubation™, its latest advancement for modular, single-stage incubation, at VIV Europe.

The ultimate goal of the modern hatchery is to produce uniform, robust day-old chicks. Robustness is a health criterion that originates in the embryo and correlates directly with the performance and resistance of individual chicks under different farm conditions, explains Dr Marleen Boerjan, Director of R&D at Pas Reform Academy.

“Circadian Incubation™ is based on observations that embryonic ‘training’ – or the imprinting of body functions – stimulates robustness on the farm,” she says. “This ‘imprinting’ is achieved by exposing the embryo to environmental triggers during the maturation phase of incubation – and has been shown to cause long-lasting alterations in the programming of body functions.”

Studies show that embryos exposed to short periods of heat or cold develop an improved capacity to control body temperature during periods of heat or cold in the farm. Short-term conditioning, using Circadian Incubation™, improves hatching results and produces positive, long-lasting effects on body weight and feed conversion, says the company. Uniform, robust day-old chicks improve uniformity at slaughter age, thereby improving efficiency and performance throughout the entire production chain.

Pas Reform says that Circadian Incubation™ greatly challenges the incubator’s homogeneity. Pas Reform’s New Product Development programme has delivered a new design concept that maximizes homogeneous temperature distribution.

“Three years of intensive (flow) simulations and empirical field studies have shown that the combination of a modular incubator design, a new airflow principle based on the creation of vortices, and adaptive feedback control, produces the precise environmental controls required to successfully apply thermal stimulation during incubation,” says CEO Bart Aangenendt.

“We have called the combined use of these three features ‘SmartPro™’: an innovative, accurate new incubator that maximises temperature homogeneity directly in accordance with the time-varying needs of the growing embryo at each stage of the incubation process,” concludes Aangenendt.

Pas Reform’s new SmartPro™ incubator will be unveiled for the first time at VIV Europe 2010 at stand C050/51.

Natalie Berkhout

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