Leading Netherlands hatchery businesses have taken part in trials of a new, flexible post-hatch feeding system that they say will be a game-changer for the poultry industry worldwide.
Elshuis, Munsterhuis and Schotman hatcheries tested Pas Reform’s new SmartStart post-hatch feeding solution before its launch to the global market. Bert Munsterhuis, general manager at Munsterhuis Hatcheries says:
“SmartStart precision feeding meets the nutrient and hydration requirement of newly hatched chicks as accurately as possible and we found it very easy to incorporate the system into our existing hatchery practice.”
Pas Reform will launch SmartStart at VIV Europe in Utrecht, The Netherlands in June. It is the result of two years of intensive cooperation between Pas Reform, biotech start-up In Ovo, DSM Premix company Twilmij and lighting specialist Philips NatureDynamics to develop a ground-breaking post-hatch feeding solution that gives newly hatched chicks the earliest possible access to feed, water and light.
SmartStart comprises two key elements that can be applied individually or together: precision feeding and intelligent lighting.
SmartStart uses natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) to retain water inside a semi-moist feed that provides nourishment and water in the correct proportions. The system enables chicks to eat from the moment of hatching. It promotes the development of robust day-old chicks, helps to reduce the need for antibiotics and performs well in the warm conditions of the hatcher.
The SmartStart intelligent lighting solution guides newly hatched chicks to the feed balconies of the hatcher basket. The soft, indirect lighting operates at a frequency and wavelength that suits day-old chicks best. It is gentle on their eyes, allowing them to get used to light without stress. The lighting programs are fully adjustable for natural day and night rhythms, in line with broiler farm lighting programs, and software upgradeable to keep pace with future light colour and temperature requirements.
Eric Wolterinck, firm member at Schotman hatchery and poultry farms, says: “The intelligent lighting system helps to ensure that chicks can find their way to the feed easily and calmly. And, because the lighting units are incorporated into the ceiling of the hatcher, it is very easy to maintain stringent hygiene standards.”
Harm Langen, CEO of Pas Reform Hatchery Technologies, has been closely involved with the project. He says: “SmartStart is now in use in a number of leading Dutch hatcheries and is welcomed as a game-changer for the poultry industry worldwide. The beauty of the system is its ease of use and flexibility.
“SmartStart enables hatchery managers to apply post-hatch feeding where it will have most benefit and its components can be applied individually or in combination. The system is easily integrated into existing hatcheries and can be applied to some or all flocks; in one, two, or all hatchers. Needless to say, we are very proud of this new post-hatch feeding system. Visit us ar Hall 7 at VIV Europe to find out more. ”