British media said that in a new farm in northern China, behind a row of sealed red hatching doors, about 400,000 chicks hatch every day, which is only part of the fast modernized supply chain of the Chinese egg industry. China has the world's largest egg industry with a size of $37 billion.
According to a recent report from Reuters, as China has completely reorganized its production from pork to milk and vegetables, farmers raising hens have moved from the backyard to factory farms. There, modern standard processes are expected to improve quality and safety.
The report said that this is an important step for China.
Song Yuan, an analyst at Zhihua Commercial Data Analysis Co., Ltd., said: "Now, if you are a small farmer, your eggs can't enter the supermarket."
At the same time, new regulations on manure management and reducing the environmental impact of farms have prompted many small farmers to exit the market.
Song Yuan said that most egg producers now have between 20,000 and 50,000 hens, which is a huge change compared to two years ago. The remaining producers with less than 10,000 laying hens may soon close down because local governments prefer large producers who are more likely to be regulated.
According to the report, these rapid changes are driving investment. For example, there is a hatchery worth 150 million yuan in Handan City, about 400 kilometers southwest of Beijing.
The report also said that this highly automated hatchery is the world's largest poultry hatchery, where chicken or other poultry is mainly used for laying eggs rather than meat.
Jonathan Kaide, president of Hyland International, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, said the hatchery now has a daily production of 200,000 or an annual output of about 60 million laying hens (one day a week for cleaning). It can meet the needs of larger farms that want to buy chickens in their own batches in a batch.
“This is the best way to start achieving good biosecurity,” he said. “When birds on the same farm are of the same age, they are less likely to spread the disease.
According to the report, the latest generation of imported equipment in this hatchery will help increase the production of hatcheries. An automatic separator can process 60,000 eggs per hour. It can divide eggs into two acceptable sizes before the eggs enter the incubator, so that evenly sized eggs can produce chicks of similar size. Chickens generally have the same feeding ability. After hatching, the female chicks are assigned to an automatic shearing machine that can operate approximately 3,500 times per hour.
The report also said that the past hatchery required nearly 100 workers, while the new hatchery only needed 20.
The report pointed out that efficiency is very important in an industry where production growth is expected to be small. The per capita egg consumption of Chinese people exceeds that of the rest of the world, consuming about 280 eggs per year, which is equivalent to spending 1 billion eggs per day in China, so consumption is unlikely to increase significantly.
According to the statistics of the China Animal Husbandry Association, the stock of laying hens in China in 2017 is about 1.2 billion.