Over the last 2 decades, the shape of broiler breeder hatching eggs has changed significantly, becoming rounder or with both ends becoming symmetrical.
Current automatic farm packing and processing equipment relies on the non-symmetrical shape of the eggs to identify the large end and to fill up incubation trays with the small side down.
As a consequence, they would not be able to position properly eggs that are too round and/or eggs with a symmetrical shape.
Therefore the level of up-side-down eggs have been rising through time with broiler-breeder hatching eggs, often reaching 0,5% to 3% or sometimes more. The direct consequence of setting a small percentage of the eggs upside down leads to a corresponding loss of hatchability and chick quality.
As shown in NECTRA internal tests on 500 eggs set upside down, 30% of them would either not hatch (mid and late dead) and 70% of those that manage to hatch, would be late, or would give lower (weak) day old chicks, compared to eggs set properly. In addition, if the eggs have to undergo Inovo vaccination at 18 days, the needle would go through the body of the embryo and kill it.
NECTRA has developed an innovative technology that measure the difference of inertia (or Inertness) within the fresh egg and strictly focuses on the actual detection of the air chamber itself instead of using the egg shape to “guess” where the air chamber may be. It is called the Air Chamber Upside down Detection “ACUD”. Therefore, regardless of the shape of the eggs, NECTRA’s ACUD device will identify the air chamber of the eggs, without error, then identify those that have the air chamber pointed down and automatically mark, or remove or reposition them within the tray.
Another very important advantage is that ACUD technology does not require any contact with the eggs, so upside down eggs could be detected during egg grading while eggs remain within the tray therefore preventing air cracks and contamination. At the reverse using a farm packer inside the hatchery to detect upside down eggs implies removing all the eggs from the tray and rolling tens of thousands eggs on the same belt which would necessarily generate lot of micro cracks and increase shell contamination.
During Transfert ACUD technology used with NECTRA LIFE 18 day Candling comes with several options from simple detection to avoid inovo injection, or automated removal or automated repositioning within the tray.
The economic advantages are important from improved hatchability and better chick quality.
In conclusion, NECTRA automated equipment with ACUD provides a new way to ensure upside down eggs are not missed and provide important economical advantages. It reduces micro cracks and shell contamination by making possible to process eggs in the hatchery directly INSIDE TRAY It improves overall chicks quality in the hatchery, It improves your hatchability by a small percentage when you thought you could no longer make economical progress even for fully automated hatcheries.
Written by DR. Ephrem ADJANOHOUN
Director of NECTRA SAS.
32 rue Capitaine Louis de Menou
29420 PLOUVORN (France)
Phone: +33 2 98 72 54 59 / +33 9 67 70 54 59 / +33 2 98 68 73 77