May 29, 2023


Aviagen's 2023 EMEAA hatchery and incubation school marked by collaboration, management excellence




The Aviagen® hatchery support team recently shared knowledge and ideas with customers during the 2023 Hatchery and Incubation Management Module of the Production Management School for Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA).


The event took place in Budapest, Hungary, on April 21-28.


The EMEA programme was designed to help production managers take their skills to the next level, equipping them with the know-how to effectively manage their hatchery operations. The end goal was to maximise chick numbers and quality, leading to the production of broilers with the best possible performance, health and welfare. Attendees experienced a blend of theory and practical knowledge, analysing the needs of a growing embryo and exploring the techniques and knowledge needed to achieve optimum hatchery performance.


In addition to the valuable learnings gained, Aviagen's EMEAA School provided an opportunity for students to connect with their peers from all over the world, as well as leading specialists in incubation, hatcheries and other essential aspects of hatchery management. This combination allowed them to gain a comprehensive understanding of hatchery operations and build valuable professional relationships.


Students collaborated with each other and tutors from Aviagen, academia and the broader poultry industry. Together, they delved into key areas important to effective hatchery and incubation management, including:


    - Factors impacting fertility, early embryo development and hatching-egg care;


    - Best practices in incubation, incorporating innovative tools for monitoring the incubation process and caring for fertile hatching eggs to improve hatchability;


    - Optimal environmental management, including temperature, humidity and air flow;


    - Data collection and analysis, leveraging data to identify key trends and potential issue;


    - Turning theory into practice.


Students were encouraged to put their newly acquired skills to test by working together to solve real-life hatchery challenges. Using case studies based on real-life situations encountered by hatchery team members, the teams analysed comprehensive data sets to identify what went wrong, find evidence and propose solutions to prevent similar future issues.


One of the most important parts of the course was the creation of a mini-incubator assisted by incubation specialists Jason Cormick and Bo Jiang. Students put their learning into practice by caring for fertile eggs and monitoring their progress throughout the week, before presenting their observations to the hatchery team at the end of the course.


Global head of incubation services Eddy van Lierde said: "Our aim for the incubation-building activity was to encourage students to think outside the box and I was thrilled to see how each group took a unique approach. The students were highly focused and invested in creating the best possible environment for healthy embryo development."


The course culminated in students presenting their findings from the case study and shared their observations and conclusions from the mini-incubators. The presentations showcased the students' newfound expertise in hatchery and incubation management, as well as their ability to think critically and solve complex problems.


Aviagen also recognises and celebrates outstanding student achievements through its prestigious David Butler Awards, which is presented to one promising student for each EMEAA School module. The award honours students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, communication and innovation, as well as significant progress and development.


This year, the 2023 Hatchery Module's David Butler Award was presented to Jamie Langford, a Hatchery Management Trainee.


- Aviagen

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