Having recently announced the intention to invest just under GBP7 million (US$11.8 million) in an extension to its hatchery in Stratford, UK, Aviagen has confirmed the appointment of ChickMaster as the supplier for the new incubation and hatching equipment at the site. An additional 400,000 egg-setting capacity building will be adjoined to the existing facilities, pushing setting capacity through the one-million-eggs-per-week barrier.

The investment is being made due to the continuing high demand, from across the world, for high generation (great grandparent and grandparent) Aviagen stock and to ensure that it can continue to meet the needs of its local UK parent stock (PS) customers.

Graeme Dear, Aviagen UK Limited general manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to further develop our Stratford Hatchery to meet the growing need for our breeding stock across the globe and most importantly, locally, here in the UK.

“We are very pleased to be able to maintain consistency within our hatchery and utilize the established reputation of ChickMaster, with whom we have been working for many years, to install the setters, hatchers and ventilation system to create what we believe will be a world class annex to our hatchery and from which we will supply top quality day-old chicks.”

Under the deal, Aviagen is looking to install a number of Avida setters which use hot water heating to bring eggs to incubation temperature and maintain a consistent temperature. In addition, ChickMaster will provide the CC3-GL intelligent climate control system, which includes a specialized heat recovery system and delivers 100 percent fresh air into each room, ensuring that not only are embryos kept at the right temperature but they also receive the optimum amount of oxygen for development while taking a sustainable approach to energy use.


Michael Gray, vice president of sales and marketing, ChickMaster said: “We are delighted to have won such an important contract for our technology. We have worked closely with Aviagen for a number of years and the extended Stratford hatchery should be one of the most advanced, efficient and productive in the world. It is great to be a part of that. Our latest technology creates a hatchery in harmony; where each and every egg and chick develops in an environment which maximizes hatchability as well as performance at grow out”.

It is hoped that work will be completed by the middle of 2015, subject to planning consent. The majority of the original building will be given over to Hi-Gen production with the annex focusing on PS hatching. However, the existing hatchery and the annex will be capable of operating together to better meet the demand for breeding stock when required.

A number of new jobs will be created, demonstrating Aviagen’s commitment to meeting the needs of its customers across the globe.