US poultry breeder, Aviagen, has expanded the capacity of its hatchery in North Alabama by 52%. With this expansion the company is poised to hatch up to 8.2 million chicks from this hatchery.
“In 2014, this hatchery supplied approximately five million breeder chicks domestically and internationally to 18 different countries around the world including Argentina, China, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, and Turkey,” said Keith McCay, director of Pedigree/GGP Operations at Aviagen. “Increasing the capacity of this hatchery will enable us to better serve customers as demand for poultry continues to grow globally.”
The hatchery expansions, representing a total investment of about $8 million, come with infrastructure improvements needed to support the larger facilities. These include tying the hatchery complex to the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority system, which involves installing a new pump station and laying 4,250 feet of sewer line. A $200,000 federal grant, awarded by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, will be combined with a $237,000 investment from Aviagen to fund the infrastructure upgrades. The state’s Economic and Community Affairs Department provided the grant from Community Development Block Grant funds made available to the State by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The hatchery has also been outfitted with the new equipment and technology to optimise incubation conditions for better hatch. The new incubator continually monitors egg shell and ambient temperatures and adjusts the air temperature to the most optimal level. Windows also allow operators to see into the machine without opening the door and losing heat.
In addition to the hatchery expansion and improvements, Aviagen will add some 30 new contract farms to support internal breeding stock production in the Tennessee Valley area.