“We were influenced mostly by the egg itself, chick quality is driven by hygiene and handling of the egg from the nest and we want a high hatchability which means gentle transfers through the system. The Prinzen packer meant a reduced demand for labour for egg handling and time can be spent looking after the birds.”
Matt Donald, a 29-year-old egg producer, has discovered the benefits of upgrading his egg packing systems on his farm. With his 73,000 birds, he says it is vital that he has an effective and efficient set-up on his farm, Cleveland View, to cater for his demand.
In 2017/18, he worked closely with poultry firm Vencomatic UK, where his decision to install their Prinzen egg packer was driven by quality and proven data. With an efficient design, using the Ovograder 20, PSPC 7 and the Roller Inspection Table, not only could he rely upon 99.7% point down set accuracy, but improved egg transfer and speed.
“Initially, we had concerns regarding the accuracy of ‘point down’ but even with the best will in the world, we couldn’t obtain the same result this packer can when packing by hand. The roller inspection means the whole egg can be viewed and checked for cracks or dirty marks without the need to handle every egg," he said.
"The grader has taken away the hand weighing, as the birds come into lay, we remove small eggs, this was a demanding task and now we can complete packing faster.”
From his experience at Cleveland View, his attention was turned to upgrading to automation at his other farm, Mount Pleasant, in 2019: "Once we had seen the ability of the machine to place eggs without damage and see a high hatch throughout the flock, it was a no brainer to install a new packer on the older unit.”
In addition to the reliability of the machinery, it was also vital that Matt could trust his supplier for support when needed.
“Service and support are crucial, especially now we run a reduced team due to the automation," he adds.