Petersime incubators ‘best fit’ for world class Allora hatchery

Tue, 01 May 2018

On a greenfield site near Warwick in Queensland, Australia, a truly world class hatchery recently opened its doors. Less than a year after the kickoff of the project, Allora hatchery is now all set to deliver the best results yet achieved in the history of the Darwalla Group.

From small family business to highly specialised operation

Darwalla is a fully integrated poultry producer comprising feed mills, hatcheries, parent farms, broiler farms and logistics. Although the business started small back in 1933 by the Benfer family, the company nowadays grows more than 25 million birds a year in a still expanding market.

After 83 years of business, Darwalla continues to be a key player as one of the largest Australian privately owned poultry producers. To ensure their continuous growth, they decided to replace their 50-year old Mt Cotton hatchery by building a brand new facility at Allora.

Allora hatchery with Petersime BioStreamer™High Density incubators

The construction of an efficient hatchery layout

On 12 March 2017, the first sod was turned on the construction of the new $22 million Allora projectthat resulted in one of the world’s most advanced broiler hatcheries.

The design had to meet Darwalla’s current business needs, as well as the plans of growth into thefuture. Therefore they cleverly master-planned the facility to enable future expansion without havingto interrupt running operations.

When it came to incubation, Darwalla selected Petersime as preferred provider. Petersime assistedbuilding company Badge and other specialist contractors to finalise an integrated design solution.

“At peak production we can produce 800,000 chicks per week in the Allora operation”, stated David Bray, Development Manager at Darwalla who worked tirelessly to keep the project on track. “Our Petersime BioStreamer™ High Density incubators with Operational Excellence Technology™ are a good fit for Darwalla. We are convinced that we got the right plan and products for a highly automated operation.”

“The Petersime BioStreamer™ High Density setters ensure precise control of embryo temperatures and this feature ensures that the correct temperatures are maintained for all age of donors, thus improving hatchability and liability, whilst reducing energy use and improving the cleaning and overall maintenance of the machines,” he added.

The Petersime BioStreamer™ High Density setters ensure precise control of embryo temperatures

Because a hatchery can’t run out of essential services, even for a moment, Badge designed the appropriate water, storage, gas and compressed air supplies. Any power blackout will be covered byback-up generators that can run the entire facility.

The long-awaited opening

11 months after the kickoff of the construction works, Darwalla Group was pleased to host all people involved on the official opening on February 12th, 2018.

After the ribbon was cut and the new world class facility was declared operational, Aleksandra Scerbatova, Darwalla’s Hatchery Manager, provided an informative guided tour and carefully explained the complexities of a modern automated poultry hatchery.

She spoke about the importance of controlling temperature, humidity and CO2 levels and the Synchro-Hatch approach that generates a ‘pop corn’ effect. By automatically detecting the exact timing of 100% internal pipping, this embryo-response technology adapts the incubation environment to stimulate simultaneous hatching. “A 12 hour spread of hatch followed by 12 hours to dry off,” she explained.

Not only does Allora boast the latest in hatchery technology, the facility also uses cutting edge robot technology in sensitive phases of egg handling and cleaning tasks. This will help to keep Darwalla competitive in a very challenging market for broiler chicken meat.

A long term approach for a bright future

By investing in this new hatchery, and thus heavily improving efficiency in the critical area of day-old chick production, Darwalla will be able to take better advantage of the genetic potential of the Aviagen Ross 308 they grow. This will lead to not only feed cost savings but also a better product for consumers and the retailers who supply them with Australia’s most popular protein source.

While other major players in broiler production seem to favour a short term view in managing their operations, Darwalla has taken a long term approach. This strategy will without any doubt result in significant dividends long before the enterprise celebrates its centenary. Exactly what Petersime want their customers to achieve: to maximise their profit for life.