The specific conditions required to optimise the new brown layer breeding programme prompted Serfonteijn Kuikens to re-evaluate its requirements for the new hatchery, and with the recent introduction of the Smart incubation system by Pas Reform,the company selected SmartSet™ setters and SmartHatch™ hatchers for the new installation.
A combined team of local technicians from Serfonteijn Kuikens and Pas Reform's Dutch engineers installed a tailored combination of SmartSet™ and SmartHatch™ equipment to the project at Potchefstroom in May this year. The Dutch hatchery technology company also designed the entire layout of the new facility, with a keen focus on Serfonteijn Kuikens' future needs and expansion plans.
Managing director Mr. Jan Serfonteijn comments: 'Ultimately, we chose the new Smart Incubation System from Pas Reform for its ability to deliver a short spread of hatch. Our programme is geared to producing both final layer stock as well as layer breeders. And as all our chicks must travel long distances from the hatchery to the final client, a short spread of hatch and the subsequent uniformity this delivers in our day-olds strongly improves our first week mortality rates, which is of the utmost importance to our customers'.
As Serfontein hatches at high altitudes - their newest hatcheries have been constructed 1675 m above sea level - this places additional pressures on the Pas Reform machines, especially to accommodate the high oxygen demands of modern breeds. The modular design of Pas Reform's Smart incubators meets all specific requirements, by enabling important incubation parameters (temperature, humidity, weight loss pattern and air flow) to be regulated separately for each incubator section of 19,200 hen eggs - thus allowing for single-stage (All-In/All-Out) incubation. Separate temperature set point control for each of these incubator sections makes it possible to control the incubator climate with marked precision. 'Having completed our first tests now', comments Mr. Serfonteijn, 'we have proven that the Smart machines give superior hatch results and chick quality - even at the altitudes at which we operate.'
'In addition to this,' he concludes, 'we have seen outstanding quality from Pas Reform's project management team here in South Africa, for a well-executed roll out for our project, that has been carried out entirely in line with our planning.'
Mr. Aangenendt, Pas Reform's President, comments: 'South Africa as an important growth market for Pas Reform - and although we have had a presence here for 30 years, we have refreshed our approach to this market since the launch of our Smart technology late last year. 'We will dedicate substantial time to this market, while supporting the activities of our new distributor Mr. JanKees Sligcher with an ongoing recruitment and training programme for a growing team of technicians. In addition to that, a programme of follow-up visits by our hatchery specialists will assist our customers in making the transition from multi- to single-stage hatching operations'.