House of Raeford Farms celebrated the grand opening of its new, state-of-the-art chicken hatchery with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 15.
The new facility, set to officially open June 22, is expected to produce more than one million birds per week.
“We greatly appreciate House of Raeford’s $16 million investment to construct and operate one of the most technologically advanced hatcheries in North America right here in Aiken County,” said Will Williams, president and CEO of the Economic Development Partnership in Aiken, Edgefield and Saluda counties. “This investment will provide the county with more than $200,000 in new property tax revenue the first year of operation, and nearly $3 million in revenue for Aiken County over a 20-year period.”
House of Raeford currently works with more than 85 contract growers to produce more than 40 million chickens each year.
Hatchery equipped with new technology
The new 63,000-square-foot hatchery features advanced technology designed for optimum production efficiency, and is fully automated to allow for the highest levels of biosecurity, quality control and operational analytics. This level of control produces a very tight hatch window, and provides assurance of consistently healthy chicks. The technologies to be used are products of Pas Reform and NatureForm.
“It has been a pleasure to partner with NatureForm and Pas Reform to bring this new hatchery to life. After seeing firsthand the quality and consistency of the new chicks produced using this new technology, we had no doubt that this was the best route to innovating incubation for our company,” said Bob Johnson, House of Raeford president and CEO. “House of Raeford Farms is deeply committed to our communities, to our growers and to producing the highest quality products. Quality starts with healthy chicks. This advanced operation provides yet another layer of quality assurance.”
Temperature, static pressure, and humidity are centrally controlled throughout the building to keep eggs and embryos in perfect condition.
“This collaboration with House of Raeford is a perfect example on how to jointly execute a state-of-the-art hatchery with all the latest that a hatchery can hold in terms of single stage incubation, advanced climate control and hatchery automation,” said Bouke Hamminga, director of sales and business development for Pas Reform Hatchery Technologies. “We are proud of the final product, a one-of-a-kind U.S. hatchery, created as a result of this collaborative new venture.”