The Importance of Cleaner, Dryer Hatch Trays

Posted by FarmLab Innovations on Feb 11, 2020

The conditions that are ideal for hatching chicks are also ideal for the growth of bacteria and molds. Therefore, cleaning and disinfecting procedures are a vital part of hatchery maintenance and necessary to prevent the build-up of organic materials and decrease the threat of microbiological contamination.

This is especially true for hatch rooms and trays, home to the numerous insults of the hatching process (organic matter being blown on walls and trays) and chicks’ dark green first droppings (meconium) which are notoriously difficult to clean.


Hatch Trays – In High Demand
As the most often used and washed trays in a hatchery, hatch trays are in high demand and must be cleaned, disinfected and dried in order to return to the production cycle in 12 to 24 hours. For hatcheries that sex chicks, the timeline is even tighter as more hatch trays are needed to avoid co-mingling.

The Perils of Moisture
There is significant pressure to have drier hatch trays. If trays are wet at egg transfer, it could cool the eggs which can delay or increase variance of the hatch window. Wet trays are also more likely to harbor potentially harmful bacteria.

While a certain amount of moisture is required in the hatch rooms for optimal chick health and performance, excess moisture can be detrimental and difficult to remove. Excessive ventilation required to dry wet hatch trays can cause short down on chicks as well as embryos that stick to or adhere to their shell.

Higher Standards with ABF
In prior years, organic matter that could not be removed from hatch trays was often accepted. With the rise of antibiotic-free production, internal auditing standards are becoming more stringent. In fact, these increased standards have prompted the development of a new role in the industry, hatchery sanitation supervisor.

While it is nearly impossible to totally disinfect the hatch trays going back into use, new technology is making it easier. SWASH™ has been shown to boost sanitation levels in poultry hatch trays by hindering waste’s ability to build up on surfaces, inhibiting the formation of organic films, and decreasing drying time.

SWASH™ in the Hatch Room
Leveraging SWASH™ in the hatchery is a simple process. Following a high-pressure, 150-degree bath, hatch trays can either be disinfected and treated in a proprietary machine or placed in the disinfectant dip tank where SWASH™ can be co-applied. Regardless of the application method, hatcheries are seeing multiple benefits. Trays treated with SWASH™ are:

  • 35% cleaner than untreated trays
  • Benefiting from a 50% decrease in drying time
  • Less likely to harbor organic matter
  • Decreasing labor efforts to “re-clean” washed trays

Cleaner hatch trays and a decreased microbial load contribute to a greater chance of improved flock performance.

In addition, SWASH™-treated trays dry faster which gives workers more time to sex chicks and eliminates issues caused by excessive ventilation.

Learn More about SWASH™ Hatchery Solutions

If your operation could benefit from cleaner, dryer hatch trays, contact us today and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

Topics: SWASH

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