Managing the Hatcher Environment

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Even though the hatcher period makes up only 14 percent of total incubation time, this period has a significant impact on chick quality. Since chick quality has an impact on broiler performance, providing an optimal hatcher environment (temperature, humidity and ventilation) will ensure high quality chicks that can reach their full genetic potential.

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Biosecurity in the Hatchery: The basics

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In the event of a high-risk biosecurity issue, a standard operating procedure should be in place to contain any infectious materials. Procedures should include methods for containment and decontamination of infectious and potentially infectious materials.

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How incubation procedures can increase chick quality

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Managers of large hatcheries can not be responsible for all aspects of chick production and quality or the maintenance of incubators. Similarly, the manager can not rely solely on his own experience and intuitive observations to achieve good quality chicks. There must be a management system with procedures, indicators and quality goals to assist in the control of processes and teams.

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Improving ROI with Ventilation

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Twenty-five years ago the poultry industry looked completely different than it does today. Then you could drive through the country and see two or even three poultry houses tucked back off the main road with a nice brick rancher, where the grower lived somewhere in view of the farm. In today’s landscape, the farm looks completely different than it did in previous generations. Today’s operation is closer to six, eight or even ten houses, the farm is way off the road, and the grower might live within a mile of their farm with the farm tied directly to the internet in order to alert the grower of any potential risk involved.

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Dry Litter Vital to Prevent Footpad Dermatitis

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A broiler with FPD spends less time feeding and drinking. This means lower final weights, less efficient feed conversion, and in severe cases, more downgrades due to breast blisters. The most important predisposing factor for FPD is poor or wet litter conditions; especially in the first 18 days of the growing cycle. Research of Wageningen University in the Netherlands has shown a relation between the dry matter content of litter and the severity of FPD.

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