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Petersime OEX Day - an event with recognized specialists from the poultry sector in Latin America

On 23 and 25 August 2017 the Petersime Operational Excellence Day was held in the cities of Bogotá and Lima respectively, an event in which recognised specialists from the poultry sector in Latin America met with hatchery and production companies in order to share knowledge and advice in relation to incubation issues.

Rafael Alonso (Regional Sales Manager) and Pieter Hemeryck (Petersime Manager in Latin America) were in charge of organising this event in coordination with Insumma BG and Macana SAC, local companies in each country.

"We started off last year with the idea of creating a forum for discussion with customers and leading companies in the sector in order to update knowledge, present new developments and revisit certain topics that may have been forgotten due to staff turnover," noted Rafael Alonso, who went on to add “At Petersime we believe that training should be continuous, and these sessions are intended to improve practices in order to achieve operational excellence, which means not just doing things well, but trying to be the best."

The event was introduced by Pieter Hemeryck, who provided a historical overview in order to understand the developments not only in the machines' engineering, but also in genetic improvements to poultry over recent years, which present new challenges for the industry: eggs of a more rigorous standard, high-quality large-scale production, operational complexity, plant automation, agreement on biosafety plans, etc.

Hemeryck underlined the importance of the incubation period in the life of an adult bird, bearing in mind that a chicken spends a third of its life in an incubator, which is why the embryo should be treated with particular care.

The event continued with the conference "Impact of breeder management on fertile egg quality, incubation results and chick quality" presented by Pablo Jaimes, Head of Production at Avícola Colombia SA.

The talk focused mainly on what to take into account in order to guarantee quality fertile eggs; in this regard Jaimes listed the following determining factors: the egg must be fertile, clean and placed in the nest, comply with guidelines on shell quality and shape, there must be proper embryonic preservation, the embryo must receive the nutrients, vitamins and trace minerals necessary for its development and be free of specific pathogens.

During the presentation "Restoration of the viability of stored eggs", Eduardo Romanini, Incubation Specialist at Petersime, spoke about the current storage situation for fertile eggs in the poultry industry and how this has resulted in the development of technologies to recover hatching potential, thereby avoiding large losses in the industry.

Some of the conditions to be taken into account for the use of heat treatment are germinal disc analysis, and recording and controlling eggshell temperature, in order to obtain a narrower window for hatching which allows greater uniformity; in any case, the best practice is still to incubate eggs for up to 5-7 days of storage, even though embryo viability can be restored.

Guillermo Reyes, Petersime Incubation Specialist, gave a presentation on the subject of "Bio-security in incubation plants". On this occasion the basic aspects to be taken into account in poultry facilities were noted, such as: setting up bio-security plans as part of the corporate culture, pest control, microbiological monitoring, and use and application of disinfectants. "Bio-security in poultry farming must be established as part of corporate culture and not depend on the initiative of one specific person"Reyes concluded

Thomas Calil, Lohmann Tierzucht’s Regional Sales Manager for the Americas, gave a presentation on the "Importance of proper ventilation and its impact on the results of incubation plants". In the presentation, Calil explained the importance of ventilation in the incubator for controlling humidity and temperature, in order to provide the conditions necessary for the embryo to develop properly.

"Incubation is thermal comfort," Calil emphasised, and he continued, "poor management of temperature can lead to an anaerobic process causing pain in the chick’s body", which has immediate consequences for the bird's yield, which in turn results in economic loss for the producer.

The final presentation "Design of incubation plants", was given by Rafael Alonso, Regional Sales Manager for Petersime. In his talk he explained in detail all the considerations to be taken into account in the design of an incubation plant, such as thelocation, distribution,flows andpractical guidelines for its construction.

The design of an incubation plant will depend to a large degree on each customer, the country and the specificities of production. However, "the absolute priority should be to promote bio-security, minimising the square metres of construction and optimising the flows," Alonso emphasised.

Finally, all the presenters took part in a round table session, in which attendees were able to ask them questions about topics of interest depending on the particular country.

From left to right: Thomas Calil, Pablo Jaimes, Rafael Alonso, Guillermo Reyes and Eduardo Romanini

Petersime started organising Operational Excellence Days in 2016 in different countries throughout the world, with the aim of enabling its customers to achieve operational excellence through continuous training in order to optimise their results.