[If you have not already read part one of this two part post, you can read it here.]
Each and every bird is inspected to make sure they are true to breed, i.e. feather color, skin color, proper body type, comb type, number of toes (4 or 5), etc. If a bird does not meet our standards, it is culled from the flock.
During the hatching season the flock owners gather eggs often in order to help keep the eggs clean and reduce cracking. However, no matter how often they pick up the eggs, there are going to be some that are dirty and need cleaning. The dirty eggs are washed in 110-120 degree water with egg soap. The secret to proper egg washing is to change the water often and keep it at the proper temperature.
Once the eggs are at the hatchery and ready to go into the incubators, they are fogged with disinfectant. The incubators and rooms are also automatically disinfected at given intervals. After every procedure; setting eggs, transfer, and chick pulling, each room is thoroughly cleaned, mopped, and fogged with disinfectant. All equipment; eggs flats, hatch baskets, carts, etc., are all washed and disinfected in our high pressure washer.
To help us keep ahead of any problems, we also take air samples from each incubator and each room every two weeks to check for any abnormal bacterial or viral growth.
Our hatchery has the NPIP Avian Influenza Clean Certification. As part of that program we send a sampling of our hatching eggs to Iowa State University for testing for avian influenza. As an added step for your safety we collect sample swabs and have them tested for Salmonella Enteritidis.
We are doing our very best to make sure we supply the healthiest, high quality chicks possible.