Columbia Farms of Georgia, Inc., an affiliate of House of Raeford Farms, Inc., Rose Hill, N.C., announced plans to construct a new $16 million chicken hatchery. A site for the new facility has not been finalized, but it will be located in the Batesburg-Leesville, S.C. area. It is expected to take 15-18 months to construct.

“It is the right time to make a significant upgrade to our live production operations, and all of that starts with the early life of our birds”, says Jim Mabe, West Columbia/Leesville complex manager. “The result of this investment will be to provide our growers with a chick that is very consistent in size and quality.”

The hatchery will contain state-of-the-art equipment, designed to produce a healthy, viable chick. A single-stage incubation system will allow for steady temperature control and ultimately, a higher hatch rate and better quality. The entire operation will be fully automated providing for an extremely high level of sanitary conditions and an efficient incubation and hatching process. 

The West Columbia/Leesville complex, one of five operated by House of Raeford, currently works with 87 contract growers producing over 40 million chickens annually.