To meet a growing demand for quality broiler breeding stock around the world, Aviagen has built its largest U.S. hatchery, a new parent stock (PS) hatchery, in Quitman, Ga. The grand opening ceremony was held Aug. 22, where Aviagen chief executive officer Jan Henriksen welcomed and extended his appreciation to Quitman mayor Nancy Dennard, other state and local government officials and many others who played a significant role in establishing the new facility.
The 78,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art facility becomes the ninth in Aviagen’s U.S. fleet and has the ability to set 1.1 million eggs per week. The company has invested $28 million in the Quitman hatchery, which will result in the creation of up to 100 new jobs for the local workforce.
With construction taking just under a year, the new hatchery became fully operational at the end of May, with a first shipment including an export and a domestic order in mid-June.
Aviagen said the hatchery’s significant production capacity is made possible using 80 Jamesway Platinum 2.0 next-generation incubators and 56 Jamesway Platinum next-generation hatchers. Further, modern environmental and hygiene-control features ensure the maximum health, welfare and biosecurity for the hatching eggs and chicks.
Another state-of-the-art innovation of the new hatchery is the chick storage rooms by HatchTech, the company said.
“While chicks wait in these rooms before transport, they are kept comfortable with the ideal temperature, humidity, airflow and other environmental conditions – another measure to optimize chick health and welfare,” Aviagen said, adding that its Sallisaw, Okla., hatchery also uses this technology.
According to Aviagen, the Quitman GP hatchery will enable the company to better serve the needs of customers in the U.S. and abroad while meeting an ever-increasing demand for quality breeding stock. While the Quitman hatchery will supply domestic customers, it is also strategically located near major interstate corridors, allowing easy access to Miami, Fla., and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Ga., international airports for easy export to more than 80 countries around the world. The company anticipates that the majority of international shipments from the Quitman hatchery will be destined for customers in Latin America.
“Aviagen is very much about our people in local communities and shares with our customers a mission to provide a nutritious and affordable protein source that they can depend on,” Henriksen said. “Through continuous improvements in our breeding program and strategic investments such as the Quitman hatchery, we strengthen our ability to secure a consistent supply of healthy, robust breeding chicks to our customers on a global scale.”
Expanding its footprint in the U.S., in addition to the Quitman hatchery, Aviagen also invested in the new feed processing facility in Sallisaw last year.