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What is the key to a successful hatchery?  An interview with Shandong Minhe (video)

With a successful feed production capacity of 400,000 tons of proteins, Shandong Minhe is a big player in the Chinese poultry industry. In an interview, Mrs Fan Xiaoyan reveals Shandong Minhe’s key to success in running several hatcheries.

In 2010, Shandong Minhe Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd could call itself the largest modern single-stage hatchery in Asia. The hatchery, situated in Shandong province in China, went into production in 2010, with an annual output of 100 million day-old chicks. Despite achieving great success, Shandong Minhe strove for a higher target. The company established a new hatchery in 2015, in joint cooperation with Petersime.

Currently, Shandong Minhe has a 3.3 million parental broiler breeding stock, a yearly output of more than 300 million commercial broiler day-old chicks, raises over 30 million commercial broiler chicks annually, slaughters and process more than 60,000 tonnes of chicken meat annually and has a feed production capacity of 400,000 tonnes by implementing automated, intelligent, industrialised and intensive management. Plus, they can generate over 20 million kWh of electricity from waste and marsh gas, 50,000 tonnes of solid bio-organic fertilizers and 160,000 tonnes of organic water soluble fertilizers annually. To deliver high quality day-old chicks, the new hatchery runs on 90 BioStreamer™ HD setters and hatchers, one Petersime BioStreamer™ Re-Store that restores the viability of stored eggs and a complete climate control system, also delivered by Petersime.

What is the key to success for Shandong Minhe? We interviewed Mrs Fan Xiaoyan, Manager of the Incubation Centre, who takes control of all Minhe’s hatcheries. In the interview we approached her on several questions such as ‘what is the key to operational excellence in a hatchery?’

How do you ensure strict bio-security in the hatchery?

‘Our company has implemented several measures to guarantee the bio-security, for it is the most critical factor affecting the quality of day-old chicks.

  1. 1. First, we make sure the lay-out of the hatchery is centred on bio-security. We separate the bio-secure areas strictly from the non-bio-secure areas. The impact of the design of each rooms and each process on the quality of chicks should not be underestimated.
  2. 2. Second, our employees are required to strictly maintain, clean and disinfect the facility every time after use.
  3. 3. Third, our employees get a proper training. They are required to clean and disinfect during every single step, from the moment of receiving and storing the eggs to storing the day-old chicks.’


What is your key to success in achieving operational excellence every day?

‘The key lies in working systematically. Maintaining your equipment plays a crucial role. Inadequate maintenance may lead to economic loss. For example, if the incubator cannot be sealed properly anymore, the distribution of temperature becomes uneven and the CO2 concentration cannot be controlled precisely. This in turn affects the hatching outcomes and the quality of the chicks.

So we follow three procedures to maintain the hatchery equipment in great shape:

  • 1. We make a year-round equipment maintenance plan at the start of the year.
  • 2. We draw up a detailed maintenance plan for the equipment that is essential and running all the time, such as the refrigerating machinery and air pumps.
  • 3. Our maintenance personnel will regularly perform routine inspection of the facilities.’

Energy consumption is a considerable cost for a hatchery. How do you manage to reduce the energy bill?

‘We adopt several measures. For example, once the day’s work is done, we start to clean and disinfect the rooms. Meanwhile, the air supply is still turned on to dry the rooms quickly. We have calculated on beforehand how long it takes the room to dry. Based on our measurements, we have set strict rules for the remaining time, so that our employees turn off the air supply promptly. That helps us to save a lot of energy resources. Besides, every room is equipped with an automated door so as to avoid unnecessary energy consumption caused by someone who unintentionally leaves the door open.’

How will the poultry industry in China develop?

‘The poultry industry in China is an emerging market, and a fragile one as well. The growth potential is immense. However, the development of the poultry industry does not depend on one single company. We believe that all actors in the industry should join hand to lift the industry up to a higher level.’

Watch the testimonial of Mrs Fan Xiaoyan: