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Cobb puts £8m into UK hatchery

Cobb Europe has expanded its Norfolk factory, allowing for increased production.

The expansion involved constructing a new building around the existing hatchery.

The complex now has an increased capacity to set 1.5 million eggs. Upgrades include:

the installation of 12 new incubators using Petersime technology,

  • 12 new hatchers,
  • a fully automated parent takeoff, and
  • a new sexing and processing line complete with 2 chicken-holding machines.

The expanded facility allows us better control of pure lines and to ultimately produce some of the most superior-quality products in the industry…” - Dominic Smith, production director for Europe.

Maintain biosecurity during expansion

Production and hatchery continued during the expansion. To maintain the health and biosecurity status of the product, the hatchery team took a number of precautions, including sectioning off portions of the hatchery, building false partitions, and creating a hazard analysis critical control point plan in partnership with the quality assurance team.

To keep disruption to a minimum, the project was completed in several phases.

Construction began in 2018 following the move of the Quality Control Centre — a sector of Cobb Europe that incorporates the highest standards of laboratory facilities, transport and service teams — to a new site in Norfolk.

Cobb Europe has plans in 2020 to introduce a trial and research area on the newly expanded site to focus on further understanding the needs of the genetics.

Dominic Smith, production director for Europe said: “Cobb’s commitment to our footprint in the region is clearly demonstrated by more than £8m invested into the project.”

“The expanded facility allows us better control of pure lines and to ultimately produce some of the most superior-quality products in the industry, allowing our customers to maximise the genetic potential of our birds.”