November 12th 2005
Leading duck producer Duck-To-Farm has contracted Dutch hatchery technology company Pas Reform to supply and install the Smart incubation system at its Ermelo Hatchery in The Netherlands, marking the first installation of Smart technology for the incubation of duck eggs.
Duck-To-Farm is part of Tomassen BV Pluimveeverwerkende Industrie. For twenty years, the company has specialised in the production and delivery of the highest quality Peking ducks under the brand name Duck To. Tomassen BV controls the entire production chain, to ensure its birds are of a consistently high quality for distribution to markets both domestically and overseas.
Managing Director Gert Jan Tomassen comments: "Single-Stage incubation in the new SmartSet™ setters from Pas Reform will maximize hatchability and the quality of the ducklings, because incubation temperatures, humidity and ventilation can be adjusted for each embryonic age and batch of hatching eggs".
Birds are kept in their own, dedicated facilities and the hatching eggs are transferred to Pas Reform's incubators, where because the hatchery manager is able to define separate temperature set points for each section of 13,104 duck eggs, Pas Reform's SmartSet™ setting system delivers an average difference in eggshell temperature of just 0.5 ºF.
Post-hatch, the ducklings are subsequently moved to affiliated duck farmers, who work strictly in accordance with Duck-To-Farm's high quality standards. At 47 days, the ducks are transported to Tomassen's own HACCP-certified slaughterhouse, where they are processed and subjected to stringent inspections. Tomassen also runs and manages the transportation of produce to its customers, delivering the Duck To duck both directly and via wholesalers to large catering companies (Chinese restaurants) both within the Netherlands and abroad.
Duck-To-Farm's investment in Pas Reform's new Smart incubation system has further advanced the Dutch hatchery technology company's plans to deliver the highest standards in single-stage incubation for duck. Pas Reform has been at the forefront of single-stage incubation for the past thirty five years - and building on the tried and trusted success of its existing All-In/All-Out incubation systems, Pas Reform's new Smart system takes the principle a stage further, to fully maximise the benefits of homogenous temperature control.
A SmartSet™ setter incorporates up to six compact, independent incubators, each individually controlled to facilitate optimal incubation programming per batch and egg type. During incubation, some sections may therefore be cooling, while others are heating - the only way to ensure even incubation temperature and to create a stable micro-environment around the eggs.
"Homogenous temperature distribution is the most important parameter for successfully incubating today's breeds," says Pas Reform's embryologist Dr. Marleen Boerjan. "Even minor fluctuations can have a major impact on uniformity and post hatch performance - and Smart has been designed to reduce this risk almost entirely".