Global Guide to Best Practices in Air Transport of Hatching Eggs, Day-Old Chicks, Poults and Ducklings

II. PREPARATION AND TRANSPORT OF DOC At the breeder farm and hatchery At the breeder farm and hatchery, the managers and staff all comply with the strict biosecurity measures to avoid disease and contamination of the HEG from production until hatch. Biosecurity measures are established to implement hygiene standards at all levels of production in order to prevent the entry of undesirable organisms, including farm pests and micro-organisms, and to manage the animal health, including the microbiological condition of the flocks of origin and the eggs produced. Regular inspections take place at the source farm level to make sure the health certificate requirements are met. HEG are incubated for 21 days for chickens, 28 days for turkeys and ducks in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment. The racks inside egg-setting machines are programmed to turn the HEG every hour to prevent the embryo from sticking to the egg shell. Once the DOC hatch they are inspected and prepared for travel according to domestic and international regulations. The DOC are then carefully counted and packed in boxes suitable for transport. The number of DOC per box and type and size of box will depend on the climatic conditions on departure and arrival. Packing and Shipping Each shipper will have its own specific plastic or cardboard box, including the predetermined quantity of DOC per box. All comply with the country of origin and IATA regulations. All boxes must be clearly marked with the name, address and country of the consignee and the Air Waybill number (see page 24 for the minimum requirements). The chick boxes are loaded from the hatchery directly onto the vehicle. At times, depending on the supplier, trolleys may be used. All vehicles are environmentally controlled to protect the birds. Once DOC leave the hatcheries and are entrusted to the air carrier, their health and well-being are in the hands of the airline. Upon arrival at the airport, the boxes are delivered to the live animal station or a suitable holding area. The area should be well ventilated, sheltered from sun or wind and free from exhaust fumes and cold drafts. The boxes are then built on clean and dry pallets using Styrofoam strips so they are not directly placed on the pallet floor. A spacer system is used to maximize airflow and stability. All packaging material must be new, clean and dry and kept inside and away from wild birds or other avian species. All packaging must meet the requirements of the importing country. 8