Koch Foods chooses Pas Reform and NatureForm for single-source hatchery expansion

Chicago-based Koch foods, the USA’s fifth largest poultry integrator has chosen to work with Pas Reform and NatureForm, the world’s only single-source supplier of integrated hatchery solutions, to expand their hatchery at Crossville, Alabama. The news comes following an eighteen month trial at the company’s Henagar operation.

With a current weekly processing capacity of 14 million broilers, Koch Foods is starting its extensive renovation project at its Crossville hatchery in Alabama, where adding 48 SmartSetPro™ setters and 48 SmartHatchPro™ hatchers will increase capacity by 2.1 million eggs set per week, to bring total weekly capacity at this hatchery alone up 3.8 million eggs.

Koch Foods is, says NatureForm’s president Steve Warren, fully accessing his company’s single-source capabilities. This include a complete HVAC system for both the new expansion and the egg and chick handling areas as well as chillers, pressure controls and humidification system, for a state-of-the-art climate control system throughout the hatchery.

The installation will also incorporate an entire range of hatchery automation systems, with farm to setter rack transfer systems, auto-candling and transfer, chick separator, animal-friendly chick counters, washers, stackers and de-stackers.

Advanced, web-based SmartCenterPro™ hatchery information software will enable Koch foods to control setter, hatcher, climate control and hatchery automation (transfer, candling and chick counting) operations from a single computer, as well as providing remote access capabilities to manage and respond to system alerts or provide technical and troubleshooting support.

Don Davis, Complex Manager at Koch Foods, comments: “We have worked with NatureForm for many years now and were always of a mind to change over to single-stage incubation. Our goal is to put the absolute best chick possible in the field. So, we started trials with Pas Reform single-stage equipment in our Henagar operation and the results have clearly shown the advantages of the SmartPro™ system. This is the main reason we decided to proceed with Pas Reform and NatureForm.”

Gary Davis, Vice President Eastern Division at Koch Foods, adds: “We were also very impressed by the dedication and expertise of their team during both the trial period and the discussions of the new project. It has become our firm belief that NatureForm and Pas Reform have the best team on the ground in the USA.”

Steve Warren remarks: “We have worked with Gary Davis and his team for many years now and we are extremely proud of earning the confidence and trust of Koch Foods.” Bouke Hamminga, Director international sales and business development at Pas Reform, concludes: “This is a major milestone in Pas Reform’s quest to truly become a world player and the world’s first and only single-source supplier of fully integrated hatchery solutions.

“We are achieving this with robust, high quality technical and equipment solutions, but also with the introduction of a brand new, 360-degree approach to service and support – SmartCare™ – that is leading the way in our industry for delivering exactly the levels of support our customers need.

“We have seen how this matters to our customers – and as hatcheries increase in size and complexity, it will become pivotal to the future of our business. We look forward to building a long-lasting partnership with Koch Foods over the coming years.”

Construction is now underway at Crossville, where the first chicks from the expanded hatchery are expected in June 2018.

Sanofi Pasteur contracts NatureForm for new flu vaccine facility in Pennsylvania

Sanofi Pasteur, the world’s largest dedicated producer of human vaccines, is to build a state-of-the-art new vaccine production facility with SmartPro™ NF incubation systems at its campus in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania.

With 10 incubators built to exacting pharmaceutical standards, the new facility will have a total incubation capacity of more than 2.5 million eggs and is expected to be operational in 2019.
Sanofi Pasteur produces more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year and previously expanded its Swiftwater vaccine production capabilities with NatureForm equipment in 2006. Successful project management, validation capabilities and the ability to meet the stringent demands of human vaccine production were key factors in the company’s decision to work with NatureForm Hatchery Technologies again for this new expansion.

SmartPro™ NF incubation allows for precise, zonal temperature control, which delivers more viable embryos and therefore a greater vaccine yield. All incubators will be integrated with Sanofi Pasteur’s internal management software. Security badge scanners for access, specialized cooling coils, custom inlet and exhaust with filtration are just some of the specialized features that will be incorporated to ensure the equipment can be validated in this Biosecurity Level 2+ vaccine production facility.

Steve Warren, President of NatureForm Hatchery Technologies, comments, “We are extremely proud of our participation in this very important project. In 2016, Sanofi Pasteur enabled the vaccination of 200 million people against influenza worldwide and, together with our partner Pas Reform, we are honoured to be entrusted with such a significant component of their global vaccine production program.”





Canada’s Sargent Farms and Boire & Frères team up for ‘Smart’ new broiler hatchery

Canada’s Sargent Farms and Boire & Frères team up for ‘Smart’ new broiler hatchery

Quebec-based Boire & Frères and Sargent Farms from Ontario have joined forces to develop a new, state-of-the-art hatchery project, that will produce around 20 million day old broilers a year with a focus on chick quality, welfare, hygiene, and sustainability.

The pioneering companies have commissioned NatureForm and Pas Reform to develop the new Thames River Hatchery, a green field operation near Woodstock, Ontario, with the most advanced SmartPro™ single stage incubation technologies, as well as a custom-designed HVAC (climate control) system and hatchery automation. Every level of hatchery operations will be super-connected by SmartCenterPro™, a web-based hatchery management software system that delivers unrivalled data-gathering for detailed monitoring, management analysis and reporting in the hatchery.

A fully integrated project, Thames River Hatchery is, say its creators, being developed with a special focus on chick quality and the expectations of today’s consumer. As such, it will incorporate not only animal-friendly SmartCount™ vision-technology enabled chick counters, but also over time the newly launched SmartStart™ post-hatch feeding system developed by a unique three-way partnership in Europe that allows the new hatchlings the earliest access to feed and water while they are still in the hatcher

With 24 SmartSetPro™-4 setters in a single setter bay and 20 SmartHatchPro™ hatchers located in each of three hatch bays, the additional hatchers allow a special focus on hygiene to include a sanitary rest day in the hatching process, for top-class bio security, sanitation and day old chick quality. As a first in the Canadian poultry industry, Thames River’s hatchers will employ the innovative SmartStart™ post-hatch feeding concept, which enables them to work in the traditional way, but also – and without any modification – to supply feed and water for the new hatchlings as soon as they hatch, irrespective of the length of the hatch window. The hatchery’s integrated HVAC (Climate Control) system incorporates three separate, Siemens controlled air-handling units, to optimise biosecurity and deliver individual room temperature, humidity and static pressure control.

SmartCenterPro™’s track and trace module will record every movement of the hatching eggs and day old chicks, from the origin of the eggs, to the receipt of chicks at customers’ farms, with cycle reports from every hatch that includes an individual day old chick weight estimation and uniformity scoring for each batch produced.

Founded in 2016, the new joint venture company will cater to Ontario’s day old broiler market. Claude Boire, from Boire & Frères, remarks, “We can see the importance of chick quality and sustainability to market growth, features that have strongly influenced our decisions regarding the use of SmartPro™ technologies and in particular the adoption of SmartStart™ for post-hatch feeding.

Bob Sargent, from Sargent Farms, adds: “We want to utilize the latest in technology, which is why we also chose the SmartCount™ counting concept and SmartCenterPro™ data integration for this new project. The animal friendly counter counts birds in groups and manages their passage gently, without the acceleration of the day old chicks that you see with traditional counters – and SmartCenterPro™ gives us the track and trace information demanded by many of our final customers and increasingly by Canadian consumers.”

NatureForm’s president Steve Warren concludes: “We are very excited about the Thames River Hatchery project. It is a complete and integrated development, with incubation, climate control and animal friendly hatchery automation – all from a single supplier.

“NatureForm and Pas Reform have worked together to become a single-source supplier of completely integrated hatchery projects for over four years now – and this new hatchery is the latest, exciting development in a growing list of completely integrated projects that we have delivered worldwide.”

Thames River Hatchery is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2017.

Lean logic: driving a new era of operations

Lean logic: driving a new era of operations

In September 2015, Angela Fauls joined the NatureForm team as Manufacturing Operations Manager, with a focus on driving the further development of the Company’s operations performance by using Lean Logic Strategies to increase manufacturing efficiencies, project planning and cost price reduction.

With more than 12 years’ experience in the Manufacturing Operations Management field and a BSB in Integrated Supply Chain Operations Management, Angela’s guidance and mentoring of the Operations team has led to the successful implementation of a new direction in continuous process improvement. With a vast knowledge of supply chain management in the manufacturing environment and proven leadership skills, NatureForm is, says president Steve Warren, really benefiting from lean logic thinking through Angela’s decision making, analytical and strategic planning skills.

“In the past year, Angela has trained and led her team to a new ‘lean methodology’ culture through vendor outsourcing, the cost price reduction of purchased parts, Kaizen projects, 5S workplace organization events and project I”

“It’s transformational – and it’s making a lasting difference to the way NatureForm works both internally and with our customers.”

Angela loves her role and greatly enjoys working with her team. She says: “I am truly happy and excited to be a part of the NatureForm/Pas Reform family – and look forward to many successful years of growth, as we manufacture the highest levels of integrated hatchery solutions on the market.”

Willmar AG Forte launches world’s first SmartCount™ turkey counter

World’s first SmartCount™ turkey counter

Willmar Poultry Company / AG Forte has successfully developed an innovative new concept for its turkey take-off and processing line, with the installation of the world’s first SmartCount™ turkey counter in collaboration with Pas Reform and NatureForm at its Willmar hatching facilities in Minnesota.

The animal-friendly counter, which has been in operation in the broiler industry for over five years, has been adapted in a joint process that for the first time enables the counting and analysing of day old turkey poults. SmartCount™ analyzes the quality of the poults in terms of individual weight estimation and uniformity distribution, with a calculation of the coefficient of variance as an indication of flock quality and uniformity.

Willmar / AG Forte embarked on this joint development project with Pas Reform over a year ago, to deliver an innovative poult counter in Willmar’s operations. The company was looking for an animal-friendly, high capacity counter that could handle 60,000 day old poults per hour, to an accuracy of +/- 5 per 1000 – and seeing SmartCount™ operating in broiler facilities sparked the idea for the joint development.

SmartCount™ turkey does not need to individualize day old poults. As the first counter that uses vision technology to count groups of poults, it analyses the circumferences of individuals, estimate their weights and produces a uniformity curve for poults counted based on the images collected by the camera.

Neil Miller, head of operations at Willmar / AG Forte comments “We have been looking at how to further improve animal welfare during the process of take-off, counting, sexing and vaccination.

“When we saw the Pas Reform counter, we immediately saw the potential of this piece of equipment to improve animal welfare standards in our hatchery. We have been running the counter now for the last couple of weeks – and have been very impressed with how gentle it is on our poults and with the counters accuracy.”

Robert Bowen, sales manager for Natureform in the United States adds: “Working with Willmar Poultry / AG Forte on this project has enabled successful adaptation and product innovation to develop our automation lines into a new area of operation. There is great potential to expand on this within the turkey and potentially other hatchery operations, not only in the USA, but worldwide.”

Spotlight: Senior Engineering Manager

Natureform Hatchery Technologies spotlight: Senior Engineering Manager

Challenged with ever-increasing opportunities for new product development NatureForm Hatchery Technologies has requested Clifford Maycott to assume the role of Senior Engineering Manager. In this key role, Clifford’s responsibilities include the continuing development of SmartPro™ NF single stage incubation equipment, as well as leading R&D to expand NatureForm’s technologies internationally and further into the Pharmaceutical sector.

Commenting on the appointment, NatureForm’s president Steve Warren said: “Clifford has been with us for many years and has an intimate understanding of the product line. In managing this critical segment of NatureForm’s strategic plans, Clifford will continue to develop our top performing single stage incubation equipment.”

Clifford will also lead the development of specialized equipment for the pharmaceutical industry, to support NatureForm’s growth as a global supplier of vaccine equipment.

With more than 40 years’ experience in technical and commercial environments, Clifford was Director of Operations for Florida-based B/E Aerospace and Chatham Processing before joining NatureForm Hatchery Technologies. He studied Manufacturing Engineering and Business Management, and is a Certified Manager holdng two degrees. Clifford’s many years of experience in product development and R&D roles for demanding, high specification industries are highly compatible with the demands of his new role. He says:

“NatureForm has always strived to develop and deliver the best hatchery equipment in the world and it is that culture of continuous improvement that makes this such an exciting environment.

“Working now also with our Dutch colleagues at Pas Reform, we will continue to develop total hatchery solutions that deliver the highest quality and best performance in the industry.”

Columbia Farms adopt SmartCare™ in the USA: A 360° approach to hatchery service and support

SmartCare™ has, says NatureForm’s president Steve Warren, been developed to deliver an assurance of efficient, uninterrupted performance at every level of hatchery operations.

“SmartCare is a 360° approach through which we share our knowledge, people, expertise and experience at every stage of planning, building and commissioning – and far beyond”, he says.

“It’s designed to support all the key life stages of any hatchery project, to optimize performance in every area of the facility, for the highest numbers of best quality chicks.”

Supporting three key ‘life stages’ of a hatchery project

SmartCare™ incorporates three key pillars of service provision, to support three key ‘life stages’ of a hatchery project: the planning, project and lifetime stages. Crucially, customers are able to select any of the options available in each pillar, to create a customized package that specifically meets their own, particular service and support needs.

SmartCare™ Planning services

Building or modifying a hatchery requires expertise across varied disciplines, from design and layout, engineering and specification, to developing accurate calculations for the hatchery’s ideal design, manpower and energy needs. All these skills are required not only to configure and set up the hatchery successfully, but also to project its future needs – and returns.

With six service options, SmartCare™ Planning Services support the hatchery’s crucial planning phase. And based on many years’ knowledge and experience, NatureForm and Pas Reform’s specialist teams can help to define a solution that meets the specific needs and circumstances of the individual hatchery, even providing a compelling, confident business case for Boards, banks and investors.

SmartCare™ Project services

With the planning phase completed, different skills, disciplines and timelines need to be aligned to deliver the vision of an extended, refurbished or brand new hatchery.

In this pillar, six project management, engineering and training services have been created to help steer the project smoothly through construction – on time and on budget – right through to startup and the delivery of the first hatch.

SmartCare™ Lifetime services

With every hatchery solution from NatureForm and Pas Reform, customers have the option to set up a Lifetime Service Agreement, structured to ensure optimal performance and accuracy for every hatch cycle. With this in place, NatureForm and Pas Reform proactively provide preventive service and parts, software upgrades and improvements, as well as post-installation training and direct access to the support and expertise of Pas Reform Academy.

Post-hatch feeding made easy, practical and flexible

A unique partnership between a hatchery expert, biotech start-up and premix company has led to a game changing post-hatch feeding product: SmartStart™

Aiming for the shortest possible spread of hatch remains paramount in single stage incubation. A sub-optimal hatch window can lead to chicks having to wait a long time before having access to feed and water. To promote the welfare of day old chicks in situations with prolonged hatch windows, there is growing demand for flexible solutions that offer the freedom to access feed and water immediately upon hatching. But inside the warm environment of a hatcher, open water systems are prone to contamination and the cultivation of bacteria. An innovative new idea, developed by a consortium of three companies, has created a smart, practical concept that locks the water inside a semi-moist feed. It is a solution easily applied without modification to existing hatchers, to give the youngest chicks a perfect start.

After egg food

The existing product After Egg Food from Twilmij has been made compatible for application in the warm conditions of a hatchery by using a special gel that prevents the water from evaporating.

Hatching is a fine art and Pas Reform, the Dutch supplier of integrated hatchery solutions, has fine-tuned this skill over the last ten decades. But the hatching of chicks entails more than having the right hatchery equipment, the right climate conditions and an optimised hatch window. The concept of post-hatch feeding is attracting the interest of poultry producers around the world, as animal welfare organisations in some areas demand that chicks (and farm animals in general) should have access to feed and water as soon as they are born. Common practice is to supply feed and water as soon as chicks arrive at the farm. Feeding (gels or semi-moist feed) during transport is typical for day old parent- and grandparent breeding stock, because they often have to travel long distances. “Before the chicks are transported, access to feed and water may be required not only from a welfare perspective and because some of our customers are increasingly keen on this practice, but also for the overall development of the day old chick. A growing body of research indicates that post-hatch feeding may actually provide a better start for day old chicks”, explains Gerd de Lange, senior poultry specialist at Pas Reform.

Fruitful partnership

SmartStart Bouke Hamminga

“At Pas Reform we focus on reducing the hatch window, but for customers who want it, a post-hatch feeding solution fits our total solutions approach”- Bouke Hamminga, Director International Sales and Business Development at Pas Reform

Pas Reform’s interest in delving deeper into post-hatch feeding comes from the desire to provide customers with a total hatchery solution. Hatcheries constantly strive to reduce the hatch window, which is normally between 12-24 hours. Maintaining the shortest possible spread of hatch is essential for achieving a uniform batch of day old chicks. However, less than optimum climate control in the hatchery, combined with the fact that hatching eggs are often collected from different sources (breed, flock age, storage time) and thus have different incubation times, can result in longer than ideal hatch windows. When the hatch window is prolonged, the chicks that hatch earliest have to wait a long time in the hatcher basket before being transported and finally gaining access to feed and water. “To promote improved welfare for day-old chicks in situations with prolonged hatch windows, there is evidence to suggest that it is better to give them access to feed and water immediately after hatching”, explains Bouke Hamminga, director International Sales and Business Development at Pas Reform. “Our focus is on providing our customers with total, flexible hatchery solutions across the complete product range – so of course, we are keen to develop an effective solution for customers who wish to use post-hatch feeding.

“This desire has prompted us to seek out the right expertise, to initiate new partnerships with two exciting and innovative Dutch companies, the biotech start-up In Ovo and premix specialist Twilmij”.

Feed and water combined

StartStart Marien vd Brink

“Liquid water in the hatchery is prone to contamination and the cultivation of bacteria. This is a risk for young chickens” – Marien van den Brink, R&D manager and poultry nutritionist at Twilmij

All three companies involved in the new project agreed that the approach must be to develop a practical, flexible and easy to use solution, that enabled chicks to freely access feed and water as soon as possible in the hatcher. “Some post-hatch feeding systems are already used by the industry, but they often require large investment and intensive adaptations to the incubation systems currently in use.

“We wanted to focus on developing a post-hatch feed that can be used in hatcher baskets, a system that is used the most often around the world”, explains Wouter Bruins, co-founder of In Ovo. Twilmij has a lot of experience with their existing feed formulation After Egg Food, which is used during the transportation of day old chicks. Marien van den Brink, R&D manager and poultry nutritionist at Twilmij explains: “After teaming up, we wanted to investigate possible new products or how we could make our After Egg Food compatible for use in a hatchery. Our feed is a semi-moist, red coloured crumble with a water content of 30% that also contains high quality ingredients and fragrances.

“But water evaporates in the warm conditions (37° Celsius) of a hatchery, especially in combination with high air flow, so our question was whether we could find a method of retaining water in the product while it was exposed to the hatcher environment. This way, a liquid water supply, which is currently offered in alternative post-hatch feeding systems, is not needed. Water in the hatchery is prone to contamination and bacterial growth. This is an extra risk for the small chicks”.

Bruins: “In a quest to find solutions to supply water and feed as a combined product, we came across the work of some biochemical scientists at the Leiden University, in the city where In Ovo is also based”. Dr Choi and his team there are working on deep eutectic solvents (called NADES), which are ingredients from nature, often found in desert plants. They found that a certain combination of solid ingredients mixed together results in a liquid formulation. And more importantly, this mix remains liquid and can trap water, in such a way that it hardly evaporates. “This is really great,” explains Wouter Bruins, “as we saw a clear link between this discovery and post-hatch feeding. We saw an opportunity to find a NADES mix that could be used in animal feed – something that has never been done before – and possibly added to the After Egg Food from Twilmij in order to retain its high water content”.

SmartStart™ as a result

SmartStart Wouter Bruins

“We believe that early access to our feed stimulates feed intake and yolk sac resorption, resulting in better chick development” – Wouter Bruins, co-founder In Ovo

NADES comes in all shapes and sizes and the challenge was to find an optimal combination that is applicable in feed and safe to use. Bruins from In Ovo explains: “Our search resulted in a NADES made of a sugar mixed with small amounts of vitamins and water. It is safe to use in this application and tests have shown that water was retained for at least three days in a hatcher at the required level. Adding this NADES to the After Egg Food created a unique new product, which we have named SmartStart™.

“SmartStart™ can be placed in the hatcher basket upon egg transfer without worrying that the feed will dry out. In other words, a very practical and uncomplicated approach”, says De Lange from Pas Reform. At the same time, the ingredients of NADES are excellent nutrients for the chick, in addition to the ingredients of Twilmij’s After Egg Food. “The purpose of SmartStart™ is to enable post-hatch feeding to be applied with relative convenience, flexibility, limited extra labour and in existing hatchers. It is suitable for use in modular incubation environments (where a hatchery can provide feed in one, two or all hatchers) – with minimum installation and investment required to start”, adds Hamminga.

Water locking principle comes from desert plants

water locking principle comes from desert plants

Taking our lead from nature, SmartStart™ uses NADES to retain water inside a semi-moist feed for a practical and uncomplicated post-hatch feeding solution

How is it possible that desert plant seeds start germinating after a long period of being buried in the hot, dry sand? The answer lies in natural components, also known as Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents (NADES) that can lock water inside so that it doesn’t evaporate. It is not a lipid and not water. The NADES is formed when two or more solids are mixed in a certain ratio, and subsequently become liquid in the mixture. NADES are natural, edible and, in certain combinations, stable related to water vaporisation. This wonder of nature has been known in the biochemistry world and was studied by a research team in Leiden, the Netherlands, led by Prof. Dr. Rob Verpoorte and Dr. Young Hae Choi. The ability to have solids in a liquid state is an interesting fact and you could think of a range of applications where this can be useful. In the quest to find a way to supply water in warm conditions with high air speed (in the hatcher), NADES emerged as one of the solutions to overcome evaporation in the post-hatch feed. Thickening NADES creates a NADES gel, which has the ability to retain water even better. By adding this gel to the existing product from Twilmij, the feed became useable in the hatchery.

Part of holistic approach

The consortium is excited that their cooperation has led to a proof of concept. The partners see the SmartStart™ development as a true game changer, as part of an holistic approach that further optimizes hatchery conditions and improves technical results for the chickens, while also complying with consumer and retailer demands regarding post-hatch feeding concepts. And this is only the beginning.

“We have a proof of concept. We know the chickens eat the SmartStart™ feed and we know it works in practice in the hatchery. Now we will optimise the solution, improve the feeders and automate the process”, explains De Lange.

Van den Brink and Bruins add that new research and practical experiences from the field will be used to gain more insights into the use of post-hatch feeding, as some questions can only be answered when we learn from practice. “We now use a product with at least 30% water content after three days in the hatcher, the same percentage that is currently used in After Egg feed, which has proven to be sufficient. For some hatcheries, it might be adequate that all the hatched chicks have access to this feed product, to satisfy the animal welfare aspect for retailers and consumers. For other hatcheries it may be beneficial to ensure that all the hatched chicks have consumed feed and water before leaving the hatchery. Maybe then it makes sense to leave the chicks a bit longer in the hatcher baskets, so that they all pick up a few extra grams of feed.

All these questions show that post-hatch feeding is still in its infancy. We need more data to provide satisfactory answers – and SmartStart™ is certainly a very promising place to start to answer them”, explains Bruins.

Don’t forget lighting

“At the same time, it is known that lighting influences the eating behaviour of the animals. We also looked more into this as part of the SmartStart™ concept”, explains De Lange. The lighting makes it easier for the chicks to better explore their environment and find the feed. Light intensity, colour, regime (day/night rhythm), type of lighting (LED, halogen, etc.) and frequency of the light all play a role in this context. “A chicken sees a different number of images per second than we do. While we see a continuous light at some frequencies, for chickens it may seem to flicker. This is not an issue with the LEDs we apply. We have tested various lighting variations. Two aspects are key: the lighting must be easy to implement in existing hatchers and the light must be sufficient for all hatcher baskets in the hatcher, in order to make the feed visible to the day-old chicks”, adds de Lange.

Ready to test more in the field

SmartStart Gerd de Lange

“We have a proof of concept. We know the chickens eat the SmartStart™ product and we know they do this inside our existing hatchers ” – Gerd de Lange, senior poultry specialist at Pas Reform.

Pas Reform remains focused on the continued development of modular, single-stage incubators, knowing that this will allow for further reduction of the hatch-window. “But we see the relevance of extending options for our customers with a product like SmartStart™”, explains Hamminga. The first steps have been taken and the first results confirm that SmartStart™ works. “This is our 1.0 version. With such strong proof of concept, we are ready to further improve this game changing post-hatch feed solution.

“One thing is crystal clear. No one wants or needs to invest heavily in equipment to achieve this goal. Customers are looking for a practical, flexible solution that can be accommodated by current incubation systems: an effective solution that can help hatcheries around the world to optimise their incubation process and deliver greater numbers of uniform, healthy chicks”, concludes Hamminga.

SmartStart™ is patent pending and developed by Pas Reform in partnership with Leiden University, In Ovo and Twilmij. It is expected to hit the market in the course of 2017.


Originally published in World Poultry

Chile’s Ariztía chooses SmartPro™ NF incubation to expand its largest hatchery

chile-ariztia-chooses-smartpro-nf-incubationChile’s family-run Ariztía is expanding its largest broiler hatchery at Malvilla, near San Antonio, with SmartPro™ NF series incubators from NatureForm and Pas Reform.

As a leading international food business, Ariztía exports poultry and poultry meat products to more than 20 countries worldwide. The company is now eight years into a programme to upgrade four hatcheries with single-stage incubation technologies, with this latest upgrade following the expansion of a turkey hatchery in Tremolen, another broiler hatchery in Arica and the complete renovation of Aritzía’s Cobb GP hatchery at Lagunillas, also with Smart™ incubation.

The Malvilla hatchery has always used a 54-egg tray for the incubation process which, due to fixed racks in the incubators, has been a labour-intensive, multi-stage process. With the installation of SmartSetPro™ NF series 24 trolley setters and SmartHatchPro™ NF series hatchers, more efficient, single-stage incubation will be introduced without any need to replace the trays, says Rolando Vera, head of hatcheries at Ariztia:

“This is the first step in renovating our entire Malvilla hatchery into a single-stage operation,” he says. “Where we have already introduced single-stage incubation at our other hatcheries, we have seen a marked improvement in hatchability and in the quality of the day-old chicks. We are confident that the Malvilla renovation will also deliver increased efficiencies and the improvements that we are looking for.”

In this first stage at Malvilla, six SmartSetPro™ NF 24 trolley setters will be installed, each with a capacity of 124,416 hatching eggs and 11 SmartHatchPro™ 6 hatchers, with individual capacities of 31,104.

Company owner and president Don Manuel Ariztía concludes: “We have worked very satisfactorily with Pas Reform over the past eight years and we have seen improvements in our incubation systems.

“The fact that the SmartPro™ NF incubation technology can deliver on the 54-egg tray system that we use already in Malvilla is a real advantage for us.”

Hatchery expansion delivers major boost for Moyer’s Chicks

moyers-chicksPas Reform has completed a major hatchery upgrade and expansion project for its oldest customer in the USA, Pennsylvania-based Moyer’s Chicks. The company’s investment will significantly increase its production capacity to meet rapidly growing demand from customers in both North Eastern USA and Canada.

Family-run Moyer’s Chicks, a Pas Reform customer since 1989, has installed nine new SmartSetPro™-6 setters, to expand weekly hatching capacity by 330,000 day-old broilers.

In addition, as a central component of the upgrade, the company has also installed Pas Reform’s SmartCenterPro™ hatchery information system, to provide end-to-end real-time monitoring, control and reporting capability, which will enhance workflow efficiencies, quality control and traceability.

“Our new SmartCenterPro™ software gives us the opportunity to get frequent updates of the operating software,” says Ivan Moyer, owner of Moyer’s Chicks. “It also means that Pas Reform/NatureForm technical personnel can carry out these updates and trouble shoot in our hatchery from a remote location.

“The first results, in terms of hatchability and chick quality, have really added to the capabilities of this hatchery,” says Ivan. “Using single-stage incubation has improved the quality of our day-old-chicks, greatly contributing to the results we are having from the hatchery and to the very positive feedback we have received from our customers here.”

Pas Reform’s regional sales manager Robert Bowen comments: “With a relationship going back more than 25 years, Moyer’s Chicks is Pas Reform’s oldest customer in the USA and we are delighted to see the company being so successful and expanding their markets.”

Moyer’s Chicks has come a very long way since being founded by Ernest K Moyer in a cornfield 70 years ago. By 2001, the company was hatching 16 million chicks per year. Always a progressive company, Moyer’s Chicks was an early member of the National Poultry Improvement Plan and is today a member of the American Pastured Poultry Association.

Recent years have, says Ivan Moyers, seen an increase in customers from the sustainable agriculture movement, who are providing their consumers with poultry products from free-ranging, naturally grown flocks.

“We have always been very positive about Pas Reform equipment,” he says, “and about their readiness to enter the North American market. Now that we see the collaboration with NatureForm taking shape, we also value the opportunities that this partnership opens up in terms of technological collaboration.”