12 December 2014
House of Raeford, one of the nation’s top ten largest chicken processors, has announced that affiliate Columbia Farms will build a state-of-the-art new US$16 million broiler hatchery with SmartPro™ incubation systems in the Batesburg-Leesville area of South Carolina.
Employing around 20 staff to produce more than a million birds a week on four hatch days, the new hatchery will be equipped with the most technologically advanced SmartPro™ setters and hatchers, a complete HVAC system and an entire range of hatchery automation systems. Construction is expected to take up to 18 months.
Commenting on the new project, complex manager Jim Mabe said: “It is the right time to significantly upgrade our live production operations - and that starts with investing in the early life of our birds.
“Following the careful evaluation of several possible incubation systems, our technical group decided to work with NatureForm Hatchery Technologies. They seem to have the most experience for building such a state-of-the-art single stage broiler hatchery here in the United States.”
According to assistant complex manager David Rush, who led the evaluation project, it was the quality of the day old chicks that ultimately compelled Columbia Farms to select Pas Reform’s SmartPro™ system from NatureForm Hatchery Technologies for the new hatchery. “When we saw the health, robustness and uniformity of the day old chicks produced both here in the US as well as in the European operations that we visited, we had no doubt that this was the best route to innovating incubation in our company.
“We were further convinced by the high levels of technical support and comprehensive back up from NatureForm’s US headquarters in Jacksonville Florida for spares and service,” he continues, “which we believe is of vital importance when building and operating a project of this magnitude.”
SmartPro™ single stage incubation allows for precise, zonal temperature control, which delivers a higher hatch of fertile and superior chick uniformity. The entire operation will be fully automated to support high levels of bio-security, with ‘Track and Trace’ functionality as an integral part of the quality control and hatch cycle analysis provided by SmartCenterPro™, Pas Reform’s most advanced, next generation hatchery information software.
Steve Warren, president of NatureForm Hatchery Technologies comments: “The partnership that we have formalized this year with Pas Reform Hatchery Technologies, has given us critical mass and the technical know-how to bid on large, new hatchery projects.”
“With more and more contracts requiring a complex combination of incubators, HVAC and hatchery automation systems, we are able to demonstrate NatureForm Hatchery Technologies’ ability to deliver competitive, technologically superior projects in the USA. The Columbia Farms project is an excellent example of this.”
Sales executive Jack Hubbell believes that having access to the expertise of Pas Reform Academy has been an important factor in explaining NatureForm’s new concepts for the US market. He says, “The week-long hatchery management training course that we held in Iowa earlier this year proved to be an excellent platform for sharing the latest intelligence with invited delegates. The Pas Reform Academy perfectly complements our customer-focused approach and will be an asset to all our future projects in the USA.”
The West Columbia/Leesville complex, one of five operated by House of Raeford, currently works with 87 contract growers that supply the integration with 40 million chickens per year. With operations geared to providing ready-to-cook chicken and further processed chicken and turkey products for food service, retail and export markets, House of Raeford’s current operations include a feedmill in Monetta, a hatchery in Batesville-Leesville SC and a processing plant in West Columbia.