The 75,000 square foot site, which has been under construction for about a year, will supply chicks for Tyson’s north-west Arkansas broiler chicken and Cornish hen operations.
The Incubation Technology Center will replace the company’s hatchery in Lincoln, Arkansas and the hatchery on Randall Wobbe Road in Springdale. About 35 people will be employed at the new centre.
A Tyson spokesperson told GlobalMeatNews that there were 55 employees at the two sites that are closing, and all have been offered jobs either at the incubation centre or at other sites, with some opting to retire.
“This state-of-the-art incubation centre allows us to centralise some of our operations so we can be more efficient,” said Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry. “It was built with the best technology available and with the highest level of biosecurity in mind, which is best for the overall health of the birds being hatched here.”
The facility will form part of the company’s No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) focus, announced earlier this year.
To help promote the health of the birds, the company has built the facility with the latest advances in biosecurity, including the use of high-tech ventilation and internal environmental controls to circulate fresh air continually throughout the building.
Robotics have also been installed to assist with worker safety and improved ergonomics. Six robotic arms will perform repetitive tasks that can lead to strain and muscle fatigue in workers.
“The site of this centre is just down the road from the original Tyson Foods headquarters building,” Ramsey added. “We’re proud of our heritage and to still be a part of Springdale. We’d like to thank the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Doug Sprouse for all their support and assistance.”