Wayne Farms will upgrade its hatcheries to single-stage incubation, according to one of the company’s live production leaders.

On Feb. 13, 2019, Jim Shepard, senior director of live operations for Wayne Farms LLC, said the company is planning on upgrade all of its hatcheries to single-stage incubation over the next three years. Shepard spoke as part of a HatchTech B.V. event conducted at the International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta.

Shepard said the company is converting one of its older hatcheries to single-stage incubation and is also expanding the facility. The plan is to convert all 10 of the Oakwood, Georgia-based poultry integrator’s hatcheries to single-stage and hopefully add HatchTech’s HatchCare system to the operations, too.

Wayne is planning on building a new hatchery – it’s already bought the land for it, Shepard said – as well.

Jim Shepard, senior director of live operations for Wayne Farms, says the company will upgrade its hatcheries to single-stage incubation. (Austin Alonzo)

The plan calls for adding early feeding and increased airflow in the hatcheries. He said these upgrades lead to better animal welfare, which the company prioritizes, and to better health and performance of the birds as they mature.

WATTAgNet previously reported in June 2018 that Wayne Farms was planning on conducting a company-wide overhaul of its hatcheries. At the time the first hatchery renovation was expected to be completed in Decatur, Alabama, in September 2018.

Wayne Farms is the 6th largest U.S. broiler company, according to WATT Global Media’s annual top company rankings.