Growing demand for Aviagen poultry breeding stock has prompted the company to increase the capacity of its Athens, Alabama, feed mill by 66 percent to support the recent increased production and new farms. With its two lines operating at full production, the Athens facility can produce as much as 50 tons of poultry feed an hour. The Athens mill services more than 100 Aviagen breeding stock farms in Northern Alabama and Tennessee.
As part of its most recent $3 million expansion, the company installed the world’s largest Hygieniser, a state-of-the-art pellet feed system manufactured by California Pellet Mill Company that thermally treats feed to eliminate pathogens. Installed in June, the custom-built Hygieniser features the latest innovations for pathogen prevention and joins another existing Hygieniser, which also was the world’s largest when Aviagen installed it here in 2010. Now with two Hygienisers, the Athens facility has increased its maximum capacity from 30 to 50 tons per hour.
Even with its dramatically increased capacity, the Athens facility continues to follow strict biosecurity protocols to ensure that Aviagen’s pelletized and crumbled feed is free from contaminants capable of threatening the health of broiler breeding flocks. These include the use of positive-pressure ventilation in its feed mill facilities and other best practices designed to completely isolate feed from atmospheric contaminants, including contact with wild birds or other animals. In fact, Aviagen was the first poultry company in the United States to design and build a feed mill to eliminate and prevent recontamination of feed with Salmonella and other relevant enteric pathogens.
“At a time when avian flu and other threats have elevated concerns about the biosecurity of the poultry industry in the United States and elsewhere, Aviagen is continuing to take extraordinary steps to protect the health and well-being of the birds in its care,” said Kevin McDaniel, president at Aviagen North America. “By expanding capacity and installing the largest and most biosecure Hygieniser ever built, we’re meeting the growing demand of our internal flocks while simultaneously protecting the food supply for birds at more than 100 internal farms.”