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Company history

Once a small incubator company, Petersime has grown into a proud world leader in incubation. For 100 years now, we have pioneered incubation and hatchery technologies and contributed to the poultry production value chain. Let us take you back to 1922, when it all started for Petersime.

1922 - 1949

Mr Ira Petersime, an American entrepreneur, starts a small family business called The Petersime Incubator Company in Gettysburg, Ohio. In 1922, he and his son Ray invent the world’s first electric incubator: the Petersime NO.1, a revolution in commercial incubation.
The first models of this electric incubator are produced in the US and exported to Europe, where they are sold through a network of sales agents.

Petersime NO.1 electric incubator

Petersime NO.1, the world’s first electric incubator

Drawing of The Petersime Incubator Company in the US

The Petersime Incubator Company in Gettysburg, Ohio (USA) in the 1920s

Constantly improving their product, the Petersimes introduce various innovations that perfect the incubation process in many ways:

  • They create a system for precise air movement, ensuring perfect heat, air and moisture diffusion equal to every egg;
  • They perfect the method to automatically turn the eggs;
  • They invent the first incubator that separates the setting compartment from the hatching compartment;
  • They design and develop specific incubators for hatching ducks, turkeys and geese. 

Petersime one of first incubator models

The Petersimes introduce various innovations to perfect the incubation process

1949 - 1966

In the aftermath of the Second World War, it becomes increasingly difficult to import goods into Europe. In 1949, Mr Georges Bohez ― Petersime sales agent for Belgium and the Netherlands ― reaches an agreement to start producing Petersime incubators under American license in Olsene (Zulte), Belgium. This marks the early beginnings of Petersime nv at the same site where the company is still located today.

In the early days, incubators are made of redwood, a first-quality timber type known for its high resistance against humidity and originating from the West Coast of the United States. Having Olsene’s railway station close to the Petersime factory means the redwood can be easily supplied.

Petersime booth at a poultry exhibition in Hanover, Germany in 1959

Petersime showcases its innovations in Hanover (Germany) in 1959

Petersime production facility and workers in Olsene, Belgium

A look inside the Olsene factory

Workers manually assemble a Petersime wooden incubator

An incubator is being assembled before being sent to the customer

1966 - 1984

The license agreement with the American exporter ends in 1966, marking the starting point of Petersime’s own developments in Belgium. The following two decades are characterised by international growth and technological innovations. Petersime introduces numerous innovative incubators, hatchery management systems and turnkey hatchery solutions to the poultry market.

Petersime headquarters, design team working

The hatchery design expert team in action

Petersime headquarter buildings in Olsene, Belgium in 1967

A view of the Petersime headquarters in Olsene back in 1967

1984 - 1998

In 1984, Petersime is acquired by an international investment group. This milestone is followed by even stronger growth, more innovations and increasing export sales. The Petersime brand, now a symbol of leadership in the poultry market, sets new industry standards across different geographies, from Europe over the Middle East to Asia and Latin America.

View of hatchery with Petersime incubators

Petersime strengthens its brand with successful hatchery projects around the world

1998 - 2010

Investing in research and development is vital to create new value for customers. In 1998, Petersime signs a long-term research contract with the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). The partnership aims to gain a deeper incubation knowledge and leads to new innovations that not only contribute to customers’ return on investment, but also to animal welfare, such as Petersime’s patented Embryo-Response Incubation™ technology that mimics the natural incubation process as closely as possible.

Petersime single-stage setter with remote control

Mimicking the natural incubation process with the patented Embryo-Response Incubation™ technology

Petersime OvoScan™ technology

OvoScan™ technology for constant eggshell temperature control

2010 - 2020

After-sales service is paramount to Petersime’s values. To offer customers even more efficient and faster support, Petersime diversifies and expands its service and training line-up, all while establishing more regional offices around the world. With the launch of Easy Connect™, Petersime brings out an all-encompassing service app that provides a seamless digital experience covering all aspects of Petersime service and assistance.

Petersime expert presents a training session to customers

Extensive training programmes by Petersime experts

Petersime expert performs technical intervention on incubator

24/7 technical and incubational support

Petersime Easy Connect™ service app main screen

Digitally connected with the Easy Connect™ service app

2020 - present

2020 challenges the world in an unprecedented way. In combination with a centralised customer service at the Belgian headquarters, Petersime ensures maximum business continuity thanks to its network of experienced engineers located in all parts of the world. They assist customers locally and efficiently, a commitment Petersime stands for at all times.

In 2021, Petersime continues to push incubator technology forward and successfully launches the X-Streamer™, the world’s first intelligent incubator that turns data into maximum hatchery performance. Together with the Eagle Trax™ cloud-based data solution, the range is a milestone for digitalisation in the hatchery.

Petersime X-Streamer™ single-stage incubator

X-Streamer™, the world’s first intelligent incubator

Today, Petersime is a world leader in incubation and active in over 150 countries. 500 million chicks are born in Petersime machines every week. Ensuring the best economic return for customers, today and for the entire lifetime of their hatchery. That is Petersime’s commitment. Maximum profit for life.

Petersime hatcher basket with day-old chicks

500 million chicks are born in Petersime machines every week

Petersime advertisement from 1920s

Maximum profit for life: Petersime’s mission since day one