Koch Foods is completely renovating its hatchery in Henagar, Alabama. When the project is completed, the facility is expected to be the largest fully integrated, single stage broiler hatchery in the Western Hemisphere.

Once completed, the renovated hatchery will have a weekly setting capacity of more than 3.7 million eggs.

According to a press release from Pas Reform, the hatchery will be equipped with 84 SmartSetPro settters with a capacity of 132,192 eggs each, and 92 SmartHatchPro hatchers, each with a capacity of 22,032 hatching eggs.

A new hatchery automation system is designed to process 800,000 day old chicks in an eight-hour operating day. To achieve this, the system incorporates three transfer candling lines with individual stacking, destacking and clear egg removal; a double chick take-off line with destackers, separators and innovative, animal-friendly SmartCount chick counters.

Also included in the facility project is a complete renovation of the climate control and automation systems to make the hatchery one of the most energy efficient in North America.

The Henagar hatchery renovation is the second hatchery project Koch Foods has initiated in recent months. In October 2017, it was announced that the hatchery in Crossville, Alabama, was being renovated. Koch Foods partnered with Pas Reform on that project as well.

Gary Davis, vice president, Eastern Division at Koch Foods, commented: “Before embarking on a company-wide hatchery renovation-expansion program, we tested Pas Reform’s equipment and technologies extensively in the Henagar facility. 

“Once we saw improvements in hatch and feed conversion rates, we worked with the Pas Reform/NatureForm team to evaluate the project’s viability and, based on return on investment calculations, our experience with the renovation of our Crossville facility and the very comprehensive support package that has also been a key success factor for other major hatcheries in the U.S.A., the project was approved.”