Centurion Poultry invited customers and guests to visit its brand new layer hatchery in Goldfield, Iowa. During the open house on February 19, over 100 people toured the hatchery. (Another 100 guests had toured the facility the day before). The hatchery expects to receive its first hatching eggs later this week.
According to Gijs Schimmel, President of Centurion Poultry, the new hatchery is a 10 million-dollar investment that has been in the works for over two years. When it is running at full capacity, the hatchery will process 18 million layer chicks a year. The breeds hatched in Goldfield will be Bovans White, Bovans Brown and DeKalb White. Centurion Poultry distributes those breeds in the US for Hendrix Genetics.
During the luncheon that was provided for the guests, Mr Schimmel thanked all people and companies that had collaborated in making the project a success as well as all of the clients that attended.
He also gave the history of the company, from its small start in 1991 in Lexington, Georgia (where it is headquartered), to today as it supplies layer pullet chicks and broiler chicks in the US as well as reaching markets in Latin America, Europe and Africa. This new hatchery represents a big step forward for the company and Mr Schimmel sees a bright future ahead.
Bouke Hamminga, Pas Reform Director International Sales & Business Development, said that this is the newest and most technologically advanced hatchery in the US. The new hatchery uses the latest version of the SmartPro™ single stage setters and hatchers. There are 14 setters with a 76,800-egg capacity and 14 setters with an 115,200-egg capacity as well as 24 hatchers with a 19,200-chick capacity.
Bouke Hamminga was particularly enthusiastic about the chick holding room, which was designed with the same climate control as a hatcher, with independent controls for heating, cooling, carbon dioxide and air handling. That way the chicks remain comfortable until they are shipped out of the hatchery.
Many special guests attended the open house, including: Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture; Thijs Hendrix, President of Hendrix Genetics; Anne Sculthorpe US Poultry and Egg Association (USPOULTRY) and Dr Guillermo Zavala, professor at the University of Georgia.