A long term investigational, advisory and monitoring exercise with a major hatchery emphasised the multi-disciplinary approach adopted by the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service (ADAS) to raise the performance of the many aspects of chick production. These included an investigation of egg handling techniques from nest box to hatcher; the adoption by the hatchery of plastic setter trays; an improvement to incubator environment; an improvement in the overall hatchery hygiene programme and the introduction of a regular monitoring programme based on the examination of hatchery fluff. Collectively these improvements led to an improvement of approximately 10 per cent in hatchability over a two year period.
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