As the earliest phase of a chicken’s life, hatchery conditions, including both incubation parameters and exposure to pathogens, set the stage for flock well-being. Environmental threats present in a hatchery have the potential to cause considerable harm or loss of future performance, especially for flocks designated to be part of a raised without antibiotics program.
While 2020 has brought challenges, we want to take a moment to reflect on the growth and positive changes the year has delivered. One year ago, the SWASH™ product line was acquired by Jones-Hamilton Co. Since that time, we have had the opportunity to further our goals of simplifying cleaning and improving hygiene in hatcheries, poultry houses and swine facilities.
The success of a pullet flock depends heavily on the precise management of light. Producers utilize covers called light traps and cover any areas within the house that could potentially leak light, such as tunnel fans and inlets, to prevent the introduction of outside light. These covers work well to restrict light; however, they can also restrict air flow. Given that air flow/movement is critical in managing air quality and house temperature, it is key that producers understand how light traps function so they can better control bird light exposure without sacrificing air quality.
While the need for evaporative cooling systems is ending for the season, it’s important to remember that investing time now to properly winterize your system can significantly contribute to optimal functionality in the spring.
Each year, more than $20 million in property losses and between 40 and 50 injuries occur from combine and tractor fires1. In addition to fire risk, a build-up of dust, dry chaff, leaves and other organic material can hinder equipment performance. Routine cleaning and maintenance along with basic operational precautions go a long way in preventing costly fires.
Evaporative cooling pad systems have become an essential part of today’s tunnel-ventilated poultry house cooling system. When properly installed and maintained, they have the potential to decrease the temperature of incoming air by 20°F or more1! However, when not properly maintained, not only can the efficiency and life of this system be dramatically reduced, it may also negatively impact the air speed of tunnel fans.
If you’ve been a SWASH™ customer or follower for a while, you might have noticed some changes in recent weeks. Back in December 2019, Jones-Hamilton Co. acquired FarmLab Innovations, LLC and the SWASH™ line of products. As a part of that transition, we have worked to become a part of the Jones-Hamilton Co. family in a number of ways.
Layer housing has changed dramatically in recent years with the U.S. egg industry adjusting to the demands of companies that have pledged to source only cage-free eggs. Approximately 18-20% of egg production in the U.S. is now cage-free with more producers slated to make the change in five to six years.
The State of the Industry Today
The shift to antibiotic-free broiler production has created a great biosecurity challenge for the broiler industry. Tackling this challenge must begin in the hatchery with efficient cleaning programs that prepare surfaces for the application of registered disinfectants.
While biosecurity has been emphasized on poultry and swine farms for years, attention paid to maintaining secure facilities has increased recently as the nation focused more on animal and human health in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. On poultry farms, the primary method of transmission of disease-causing microorganisms is the use of contaminated equipment or worker clothing and footwear. It has long been documented that harmful viruses and bacteria can move from one flock or one farm to the next on trucks, tractors and other equipment.1