Tags: Hatchery management | Whitepaper
15 July 2015,
The importance of a dedicated, motivated team in a hatchery should never be underestimated. Even in a highly automated environment, the hatchery cannot exist without them.
Creating such a team is part of the hatchery manager’s role: as important as understanding the entire incubation process, from egg to day-old-chick and all the factors that can, either positively or negatively, influence hatch results.
An experienced hatchery manager can analyse causes of poor performance, take corrective actions and evaluate their impact. He or she has the authority to change Standard Operation Procedures (SOP’s) and is a good organizer and planner.
The hatchery manager is supported by team leaders, each with responsibility for specific rooms, for example the egg handling room, or SOP’s, such as vaccination, within the hatchery. Often, these individuals are also responsible for collecting relevant data, such as egg weight loss, break-out results and hygiene scores.
The personnel responsible for relatively monotonous tasks, like egg setting, candling & transfer, chick handling, cleaning and disinfection, for example, are often referred to as unskilled, although this undermines the importance of their jobs.
A good technical team, for preventive maintenance and equipment repairs, is critical to optimising incubation conditions and ensuring operational continuity throughout the operation: never more so than when the hatchery is highly automated.
It is the hatchery manager’s task to find, train(= educate) and, last but not least, motivate employees assigned to specific tasks. Well-trained personnel will follow SOP’s accurately and have the skill to recognize potential mistakes and risks. For example:
Whether for new employees or as a routine for existing hatchery personnel, training motivates people to do a great job. Rotating people so that they can experience the hatchery’s different departments helps to prevent boredom and a loss of interest that can result in ‘sloppy’ work. It also enables individuals to find an area of particular interest – and therefore better performance - in the hatchery. In such an environment, people become more flexible as capable ‘multi taskers’, which is a great benefit when covering absence due to sickness or holidays.
Good hatchery managers too should welcome ongoing professional development, to grow into their job and build experience, while staying up-to-date by reading relevant articles and attending seminars. Hatchery management training is a great opportunity, even for experienced hatchery managers, to share ideas and experiences with specialists and managers from other hatcheries.