Crown Chicken has adopted the NestBorn on-farm hatching system across its entire farming estate.
The Belgian-Dutch concept sees pre-incubated eggs transferred from setter trays to litter in poultry houses.
The company says this results in “robust chicks, born in natural and stress-free conditions” with access to feed, water and light.
Crown Chicken said that, following trials, it was now hatching 600,000-birds a week using the new system.
“After the first contact with NestBorn in September 2018, our first trial with this concept already took place in November of that year,” Matthew Ward, Agricultural Director from Crown Chicken explains.
Hatchery and Breeding SpecialA good hatching egg is the basis for the production chain for poultry meat and eggs. This special focusses on optimisation of the process from the breeding farm to the point the day old chick leave the hatchery and head to the broiler or rearing farm.
“At several occasions, a specifically developed NestBorn machine placed eggs under Red Tractor derogation in 2 test locations in Norfolk during almost 1 year.”
Daniel Bush, senior broiler production manager for Crown Chicken, added that these tests confirmed prior positive experiences of the company with on-farm hatching.”
What is particularly attractive with the NestBorn system, is that we observe all the advantages and clear benefits of early feeding & on-farm hatching, but that no specific installations or investments are needed in the poultry house, making it very accessible.”