Poultry International - February 2018 - 13
PoultryInternational ❙ 13
restricted to the outer walls. Inside, there are glasswalled corridors, which means the public, should
they want, can see up-close how operations are carried out.
The Optibrut hatchery may claim to be the first
completely transparent hatchery in Europe with all
direct benefits that such an approach brings, but it is
hoped the benefits will spread beyond its glass walls.
In addition to an optimal working and hatching environment for staff and chicks, there were
other drivers behind the design and, according to
Koerkamp, the hatchery is also different from others
as it has been designed from the farmers' viewpoint.
"We thought, 'How can we combine the hatchery
with farmers' experiences?' and with transparency,
we can help to tell their story," he said.
approach of being transparent.
There is a linear sexing line with room for eight
people to work, and with two chutes per sexer,
which are ergonomic and switchable. The facility
has what has been described as the most chickfriendly counter in the world, with an accuracy of
better than 1 in 2 chicks, and a capacity of 72,000
chicks per hour.
The hatchery sources fertile eggs from Germany
and chicks are sent to German farms. But, because
it is close to the Netherlands, it could also supply
Dutch producers. Mark Clements
Among the most modern
The hatchery has started production with
850,000 chicks per week but has the capacity to produce 1.6 million. It will supply the German market,
which is also from where
all inputs are sourced, but
being close to the border
with the Netherlands,
it can also easily ship
chicks there if the need
arises. The hatchery produces Ross 308 chicks.
"Our chicks are a
The hatchery has the
little more expensive to
capacity to receive 80,000
buy, but they do not need
eggs per hour, with the
such high temperatures
receiving area being fully
when they arrive on farm,
automated, as is the cangrowth has already startdling and transfer room,
Internal glass corridors allow visitors to
ed, and they don't need
which can handle 90,000
see how the hatchery works. Mark Clements
antibiotics, so the farmer
chicks per hour.
quickly gets that money
It uses the HatchCare
back," Koekamp said.
system, which gives chicks unlimited access to feed,
Chicks are dispatched to customers in trays
water and light as soon as they hatch, preventing
which also contain feed. The hatchery has its
dehydration and stimulating intestine growth. Not
own tray color, blue, and will only accept its own
only does the system provide a high-quality chick,
trays back from farmers to help prevent contamibut with good welfare credentials, it aligns with the
February 2018 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com