The upgrade at the hatchery has brought in 12 new incubators, 12 new hatchers, new sexing and processing line complete with two chicken-holding machines


Cobb expands hatchery facility in the UK (Credit: Cobb-Vantress, Inc.)

Cobb Europe, a UK-based poultry breeding company, has completed the expansion of its hatchery in Norfolk, UK that entailed an investment of £8m ($10.4m).

The expansion allows Cobb Europe, which is part of a network of facilities within the Cobb Vantress group of companies, to increase production capacity. It also facilities the company in delivering a high-quality product to customers using advanced technology.

With the expansion, Cobb Europe can now set 1.5 million eggs

To achieve the goals, the company constructed a new building around its existing hatchery. With the expansion, the company can now set 1.5 million eggs.

The upgrades at the new hatchery include installation of 12 new incubators using the latest Petersime technology, 12 new hatchers, a fully-automated parent takeoff, and a new sexing and processing line complete with two chicken-holding machines.

Cobb Europe production director for Europe, the Middle East and Asia Dominic Smith said: “Cobb’s commitment to our footprint in the region is clearly demonstrated by more than £8 million invested into the project.

“The expanded facility allows us better control of pure lines and to ultimately produce some of the most superior-quality products in the industry, allowing our customers to maximize the genetic potential of our birds.”

The company claims to have continued with the production and hatchery during the expansion. To maintain health and biosecurity status of the poultry, the hatchery took several precautions such as sectioning off portions of the hatchery, building false partitions and also created a hazard analysis critical control point plan, partnering with quality assurance team.

Cobb Europe European hatcheries manager Chris Murrell said: “It was important to our team to keep operations running without impacting our customers while maintaining our high levels of biosecurity and compartmentalization standards.

“Our contractors did an exceptional job working around the planned egg sets, transfers and hatching without disrupting our standards of production.”

To maintain minimum disruption, the expansion project was touted to have been completed in several phases. Construction started in 2018, beginning with the Quality Control Centre, a sector that claims to include high standards of laboratory facilities, transport and service teams, to a new site in Norfolk.

Next year, Cobb Europe plans to launch a trial and research area on the newly expanded site focused to increase its understanding of genetic needs.

The company will also conduct a recruitment drive next year, which will double the headcount to 39 team members.