Enriching oxygen in incubators

Air Products launched its revolutionary Avilox® ­incubator oxygen enrichment system at the recent Avi Africa Poultry Expo 2007 at Gallagher Estate.
Issue date 15 June 2007

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This patented technology was jointly developed in Mexico by CryoInfra and Air Products, and Mexican specialists visiting South Africa. It significantly increases chick production through improved egg hatchability. By supplementing the oxygen content of the atmosphere while maintaining temperature and humidity within the incubator, it solves the problem of the inherently low hatchability of eggs at altitudes above 1 000m. Advantages include lower mortality as ascites are reduced during fattening, lower disposal costs and increased production. Hatcheries ­needing to increase incubator capacity or with a high incidence of ascites in growing chicks, and producers looking to decrease ­mortality during fattening, will all benefit from Avilox®.

The earth’s atmosphere consists of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other gases, mainly carbon dioxide. At sea level (1 bar pressure) it contains about 0,28kg/m3 of oxygen. As the altitude increases the atmospheric pressure decreases, resulting in a decrease in air ­density and the oxygen per volume unit. The ratio of gases stays the same, but the amount of oxygen per cubic metre decreases. This drop in oxygen causes fewer eggs to hatch at higher altitudes.

Trials conducted above 1 600m in Wyoming and Colorado in the US show that if ­oxygen is added to incubators, chicken and turkey embryo mortality drops. Experiments ­conducted at the Utah ­College of Agriculture experienced an improvement in hatchability when the eggs and chicks were exposed to an oxygen-enriched atmosphere during their first 18 days. Following the Avilox® launch, Air Products ­successfully engaged partners in the hatchery industry and will ­conduct trials with local hatcheries over the next few months.

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For more information contact Auriel Mitchley on (011) 889 0796 or e-mail [email protected].