With its headquarters in Oakwood, Georgia, Wayne Farms is also amongst the world’s 10 largest producers. Established in 1965, the company has evolved significantly from its origins as a spin off from the Continental Grain Company. Today it employs 9,000 staff and has a production capacity of close to 8 million broilers a week and annual sales of poultry products worth USD 2.6 billion.
The Decatur project is the first in a planned company-wide overhaul of its 10 hatcheries to install equipment, which is expected to take five years to complete. Renovation at Decatur will include 24 SmartPro™ NF 18-54 setters and 12 SmarthatchPro™ NF 6 hatchers, to bring total weekly capacity up to 962,280 hatching eggs. The installation will also include Pas Reform’s SmartCenterPro™ hatchery management system, which will seamlessly connect incubation, climate control and hatchery automation systems and capture data from every layer of hatchery operations.
Wayne Farms has a customer-driven strategic focus on RWA (raised without antibiotics) production and the latest GAP2 animal welfare standards. This has triggered a complete shift towards single stage incubation, which results in a much shorter hatch window and lower first-week mortalities. Innovative, post-hatch feeding practices are also under consideration for the hatchery upgrades.
Wayne Farms believes in upholding a set of rigorous standards to deliver exceptional products for some of the largest branded food companies across America, assuring strict product quality and food safety from the farm to the kitchen. This is largely a product of vertically integrated process, which gives control over every step of the process and provides a level of traceability and accountability unparalleled by the majority of food production.
Wayne Farms’ decision to invest in the SmartPro™ NF product line at Decatur followed a rigorous, year-long comparative testing versus multistage incubators. Superior hatchability versus these multistage incubators showed overall improved results which justified the renovation investment.
Steve Warren, President at NatureForm Hatchery Technologies, comments: “We are very glad to have such an important company as Wayne Farms starting to transform its hatcheries from multistage to single-stage incubation with us. Our team of combined Dutch and American specialists has been instrumental in working together with the client.”
“We are now looking towards further strategic collaboration with Wayne Farms in post-hatch feeding and a further overhaul of some of its other hatchery operations.”
The entire Decatur project will be delivered and installed in phases over the winter months of 2018 and into the first few months of 2019 and will produce its first day old chicks in December 2018.