There are procedure to take when establishing a hatchery which includes; determination of the project’ feasibility (i.e. hatchery feasibility studies ), land procurement for the hatchery.
Hatchery feasibility studies helps to determine whether or not it is possible and profitable to embark on hatchery project. It is very essential to do this at the beginning. The feasibility study will provide information on the following:
1. Availability of market for chicks, which are the main hatchery product;
2. Availability and costs of all necessary inputs for the hatchery operations;
3. Associated problems with the venture and the prospects of surmounting them;
4. Financial prospect of the venture showing a cash-flow chart, which will clearly indicate the prospect of making profit or loss.
From this hatchery feasibility study, it will be determined whether the project can run profitably without hitches. The hatchery feasibility study can be done by visiting some of the hatcheries in the immediate locality of the proposed project to inquire concerning the above listed pieces of information. This however needs to be done with tact to be able to receive necessary cooperation. This is because entrepreneurs naturally detest competition. Some poultry farmers can also be visited to know their sources of chicks and the ease of procurement of the chicks. These pieces of information will, among others, indicate if the market for the chicks is already saturated or not.
Land Procurement for the Hatchery;
Land requirement for a hatchery depend on the anticipated size of the hatchery. This is a function of the number of chicks the hatchery plans to hatch weekly. A big hatchery demands more structures and infrastructures than a small one. Where land is available at affordable price, the location of such land is vital to a hatchery project. The following guidelines should be considered in locating a hatchery:
a) It should be located far away from poultry houses where birds are being raised to avoid transmission of diseases from birds to the hatchery. A minimum distance of 150m from poultry houses is considered fairly safe.
b) It should be located away from residential areas to avoid transmission of diseases from people. Fencing helps to reduce traffic to the hatchery.
c) Hatchery should not be located near the railway lines, airport and where some heavy equipment capable of causing earth vibrations operate. The occasional vibrations around these places may affect embryonic development in the incubated eggs.
d) A smooth access road should lead to the hatchery brcause of hatchable eggs and chicks that are being regularly transported to and from the hatchery. Rough roads can cause eggs to crack or impose stress on the fragile chicks.
e) Marshy or water-logged area is not good for locating a hatchery. The environment must be well drained and passable during the rainy season. The hatchery which is a “maternity centre” for poultry should ideally be a decent and attractive site, exteriorly decorated if possible with flowers. It should be free of filth.
f) There should be regular supply of electricity and water at the hatchery site.
Hatchery Personnel and Organizational Chart:
A large hatchery employs both administrative and technical staff. If the hatchery is one of the business organizations owned by an individual and the individual (proprietor) decides to be in charge, then he will be titled Director. If he is one among the group of people owning the hatchery, he will be titled Managing Director. In the event that the proprietor or any of the proprietors is not directly involved with the running of the hatchery, the overall head of the farm is titled Manager. The title general Manager is used if there is a poultry farm connected with the hatchery. In this case, while he is the General Manager, there will be a manager for the hatchery and another for the poultry farm, both answerable to be General Manager.
The following categories of workers will be found in a large hatchery:
b. Hatchery supervisor
c. Administrative officer
d. Finance officer or Accountant
f. Marketing officer
g. Store keeper
h. Administrative clerks
i. Account clerks
j. Sales clerk
k. Hatchery attendants
l. Gate keeper and security guards
A typical organizational chart or organogram is shown below:
The manager will receive the highest remuneration in terms of salary, following by the next three officers who can be placed on similar wage, with possible different allowances. The officers are:
i. Hatchery supervisor
ii. Administrative officer and
iii. Finance officer or Accountant
The technician, marketing officer and store keeper will earn next to those officers, following by the hatchery attendants and clerks. The security guards, messenger and gardeners come last. The remunerative cadres can be summarized as following:
ii. Hatchery supervisor, Administrative officer, Finance officer or Accountant
iii. Technician, Marketing officer and Store Keeper
iv. Hatchery attendants and clerks (administrative, account and sale)
v. Security guards, Messenger and Gardeners.
Organogram and remuneration cadres of staff depends on the size of the hatchery. When the hatchery supervisor is additionally trained in incubator servicing and repairs, there will be no need to employ the technician. In some hatcheries, the technician is invited when needed and paid or employed on retainer-ship, whereby he is paid less than the usual salary but only comes in for few days of the month or on emergency.
Egg Procurement for the Hatchery
There are two methods of procuring hatchable eggs:
a. Procurement from hatchery’s parent-stock farm,
b. Direct or indirect purchase from other parent stock farms.
Procurement from hatchery’s parent-stock farm (merits and demerits):
Some hatchery proprietors keep parent stock farms to supply hatchable eggs to their hatcheries. Such arrangement has merits and demerits. The merits can be summarized as follows:-
i. The quality of eggs can be ascertained.
ii. The regularity of hatchable egg supply can be guaranteed.
iii. The cost of the eggs and hence the cost of hatching each chick is reduced.
iv. The risk of introducing disease from some other farms to the hatchery through eggs is eliminated.
The following are the demerits:
i. Keeping of parent-stock is a full-time business. If it is not properly handled, it can disturb the running of the hatchery adversely.
ii. If the parent stock farm is in the same vicinity with the hatchery, even at safe distance, the hatchery may not be completely free from disease transmission from the birds, especially through interaction of workers from the hatchery and poultry house.
Direct or Indirect purchase of eggs:
Direct purchase involves making a link between the hatchery and a parent-stock farm such that the eggs are supplied directly to the hatchery through the hatchery stuff making the arrangement. The eggs can even be delivered directly by the farm to the hatchery.
Indirect purchase can be done through contract. This involves a middle-man (contractor) who has links with various parent-stock farms, from where he buys hatchable eggs which he supplies to the hatcheries. With indirect purchase, the hatchery does not necessarily need to know the farm from where the eggs come but the contractor must be reputable enough to be trusted.
The contractor or egg vendor takes the order which specifies the kind of eggs needed i.e. specie, type and breed of poultry, size of eggs and age of eggs.
Handling of Hatchable Eggs
The following precautions should be taken in handling hatchable eggs purchased directly or indirectly:
1. The eggs must be check to ensure they are the right type desired in terms of size, colour and cleanliness.
2. They must be carefully packed in sanitized, clean egg trays and stacked, with minimal handling.
The eggs must be transported in clean and sanitized vehicle during the cool hours of the day or at night or n air-conditioned vehicles. Transportation should be done through good roads to avoid much shaking so as to prevent condition of tremulous (shaken) air cells. If the vehicle is not air-conditioned and therefore air freely enters the vehicle from outside, dust roads should be avoided.
a Procedure for Establishing a Hatchery– Hatchery Feasibility Studies