Centurion Poultry, the second largest producer of commercial egg layer chicks in the USA, is to build a new 18 million capacity single-stage hatchery in the State of Iowa, with Pas Reform hatchery technologies from The Netherlands.
Headquartered in Lexington, Georgia, Centurion Poultry’s Commercial Layer Division holds about 25% of replacement chicks for the egg layer market in the USA, mainly with Bovans and Dekalb brands. Since its inception in 1991, the company has grown steadily, to incorporate satellite operations in Alabama, Iowa, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Plans to invest in a new hatchery are in response to increased market demand for the company’s day old layer pullets in the Mid-West.
With completion planned next year, the new Iowa hatchery, will comprise 28 SmartSetPro setters and 24 SmartHatchPro hatchers, which with an annual production capacity of 18 million day old pullets, will make this one of the largest layer hatcheries in the USA. Floor plan layout has been designed to accommodate a doubling of capacity, with a further 28 setters and 24 hatchers incorporated into the setup.
Pas Reform’s HVAC system will deliver bacterial and fungal filtration, pressure control in all hatchery production rooms and planning for optimised hygiene in the flow of eggs and chicks throughout the new facility. Microban hatcher baskets add a further layer of protection against contaminants. The HVAC system also includes a Total Heat Recovery system (THR) – a first in the USA – to recover and re-use the heat produced in some of the incubation processes for other hatchery requirements.
“Advances in layer genetics produce eggs that are increasingly difficult to hatch” says Gijs Schimmel, president of Centurion. “ In looking for a single stage solution that could produce superior chick quality, we believe that SmartPro’s combination of modular design, Vortex-based airflow and Adaptive Metabolic Feedback, has a significant effect on day old chick quality. For that reason, we have choosen it.”