EDINBURGH, Scotland. – The Aviagen® hatchery support team enjoyed their time sharing knowledge and ideas with valued 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 the vibrant city of Budapest, Hungary, during the week of April 21-28.
The EMEA program 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 maximize chick numbers and quality, leading to the production of broilers with the best-possible performance, health and welfare. Attendees experienced the perfect blend of theory and practical knowledge, analyzing the needs of a growing embryo and exploring the techniques and knowledge needed to achieve optimum hatchery performance.
Connect, collaborate, create
In addition to the valuable learnings gained, The EMEAA School provided an excellent 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 analyzed comprehensive data sets to identify what went wrong, find evidence and propose solutions to prevent similar future issues.
One of the most rewarding 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 was impressed with the students' eagerness to experiment and think creatively. He commented, "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 an exciting finale, as the students presented 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 values exceptional performance and encourages excellence among its students. The hatchery team was delighted to present the "yellow team" with a traditional Scottish Quaich (two-handled drinking cup) for their outstanding performance in the final exam, incubator model, and presentation. The members of the winning team were:
- Sayed Abdelrazek Adam Said, Pure Breed Poultry Company
- Oscar Mendicino-Boyle, Avara Foods
- Sally Stevens, Moy Park
- Jessica Nilsson, Aviagen Swechick
- Jacek Ostapczuk-Makijenko, Cedrob
Malgorzata Gotz from Cedrob S.A. commented on his excitement of participating in this learning journey: “No matter how experienced you are, this event will undoubtedly broaden your horizons.”
“We are proud of our 2023 Hatchery and Incubation Module graduates. They are the future of our industry, and it is our hope that they will use the learnings and best practices to enrich their home operations, and ultimately foster innovation and progress in our industry,” added Eddy.
Spotlight on David Butler Award winner
Aviagen recognizes 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 from PD Hook.
“Winning this award is a great achievement that really gives me the boost and motivation to continue working hard and expanding my knowledge within the poultry industry,” shared Jamie.
“Jamie is a real rising star in the poultry industry, and he impressed us all with his commitment and passion, as well as impressive communication skills. He asked just the right questions that demonstrated curiosity, engagement and the ability to think critically – all qualities that are integral to effective hatchery and incubation management. On behalf of the entire hatchery team, I congratulate Jamie on this achievement and look forward to seeing his continued success in the hatchery industry,” commented Incubation Specialist Guo Jun who supports Aviagen hatcheries in the UK.
About the David Butler Award
The award was established in memory of industry legend, Aviagen Technical Director David Butler, who passed away in 2019 and was respected and admired by industry colleagues near and far.