Mac Dykeman

Chicken hatcheries are an important part of Canada’s economy that can be affected by biosecurity risks. Biosecurity refers to practices used to prevent the spread of virus and bacteria. The most important aspect of a poultry hatching operation is the incubator. Reducing the number of times the incubator is opened during incubation lowers biosecurity risks. Although progress has been made in automating poultry incubators, there still appears to be much room for improvement. The goal of this project is to further automate the incubator to decrease biosecurity risks and reduce the potential for human error. Two areas of focus needing further automation and improvement were identified: egg candling and the turning/hatching tray. These functions were automated and designed to maximize efficiency. This allows for eggs to be placed in the incubator, with no need to open or handle the eggs for at least 21 days, significantly reducing biosecurity risks.

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