White eggs lined up in neat rows 3dmentat/iStock/Thinkstock

Hendrix Genetics celebrates grand opening of Nebraska laying hen facility

Facility has capacity to produce 24 million female chicks annually.

Antoon van den Berg, chief executive officer of Hendrix Genetics, along with Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, recently attended the grand opening celebration of Hendrix Genetics’ new hatchery in Grand Island, Neb. The $18.5 million facility, with the capacity to produce 24 million female chicks per year, covers 20 acres in the northeast section of Grand Island’s Platte Valley Industrial Park.

“It is a fantastic, state-of-the-art facility for this hatchery,” said Ricketts, who toured the facility with Nebraska Department of Agriculture director Greg Ibach.

The company said the new facility will contribute to meeting the strong demand for its layers in the U.S. Construction began in September 2016 and will soon be completed. The facility will create around 45 new local jobs in a range of hatchery roles. Some of these posts already have been filled, but recruitment for the rest continues, the company said.

“The new hatchery signifies a major step in supplying the U.S. layer market with top-quality laying hens. We are dedicated to breed for the egg-producing industry of today and tomorrow,” said Ron Jöerissen, production director-layers for Hendrix Genetics.

“With the new hatchery, expansion of Hendrix Genetics’ layer distribution in the U.S. will be strengthened,” the company said.

Jamesway supplied the incubation, hatching and ventilation machinery as well as the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The facility is installing 30 P120 incubators and 18 P40 hatchers.

Key contract growers located near the new hatchery will rear and house the birds during production. Hendrix is already working together with eight contract growers in the Grand Island area. “They have invested in new barns to house the birds, with a capacity of 40,000 birds for each barn,” the company said.

The Grand Island contract growers will complete the new “national production hub” for Hendrix Genetics in the U.S.

“We have provided the contract growers with blueprints for the barns. We advised them on contractors and management of the eventual facilities -- all to ensure that our high production standards are maintained throughout the hub,” the company said, adding that construction of eight of the 11 new barns is already completed.

Construction of the new production hub in Nebraska will enable the company to meet another 10% of the total U.S. layer market's needs.

“It is one of many exciting development projects underway at Hendrix Genetics. We are progressing steadily to enlarge our global downstream distribution significantly,” the company said.

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