What better way to conclude the 2019 hatching program than with a virtual visit to a real-life hatchery? So that is what we did! We invited all of our hatching teachers to join us on a FarmChat®!
I made the trek north to Rudd, Iowa on Tuesday, May 28th. Tony Halsted, Director of Business Development and Alicia Schmitt, Marketing Manager guided us through a virtual tour of the 74 year old hatchery. It was definitely a sight to see! Students had the opportunity to witness the whole process from incubation to shipping during our 30 minute chat!
Tony began the tour by showing us where they keep the fertilized eggs. There are over 40 farms around Iowa and surrounding states that supply Hoover's Hatchery with fertilized eggs. The eggs we buy from the grocery store are not fertilized. Grocery store eggs come from farms who raise only layers. To have a fertilized egg we need both a hen and rooster. Hoover's Hatchery offers eggs and chicks from over 100 different breeds. Each breed is unique starting with the egg shell. Tony showed the students a white, tan, brown, blue and even green egg!
After Hoover's Hatchery receives the fertilized eggs, it is just a short time before they get placed in large incubators where they will spend the next 21 days. An incubator is a device to keep the eggs warm during the 21 day hatching cycle.
From the time the chicks hatch, it is just hours before they are being sent to their new homes. Tony is holding up one basket of recently hatched chicks. All of those baskets of chicks will be counted and shipped off to fill an order. The shipping happens over night to ensure the chicks stay safe and healthy!