Casaccio Egg Farm gives consumers what they want as well as what they need
On November 15, Poultry Digest visited the Casaccio family-owned layer farm at Terang in Victoria where the company has invested significantly in state of the art plant, equipment and has expanded production.
The farm, previously known as Milroy’s, was established more than 50 years ago and Paul Casaccio informs us that the family acquired the farm in 2014 and has been going through upgrades ever since.
We were there to meet Sanovo Technology Group’s General Manager for Asia, Nourredine el Molaka, whose company supplied a new STAALKAT Ardenta Farmpacker system and Brad McAuliffe (Director from Macrospec), supplier of poultry farm equipment and the Australasian agent for Sanovo.
In the time since taking over the business, Casaccio Egg Farms has established free range layer sheds to complement the existing cage laid facilities, an initiative that recognises the increasing consumer demand for eggs from alternative production systems.
The mighty STAALKAT Ardenta 300 Farmpacker system not only automates egg handling, its multiple functions like crack and dirt detection and rapid handling from shed to ‘ready for sale’, help to ensure a safe and quality product for consumers.
The machine can handle 108,000 eggs per hour or 300 cases per hour.
Luke Colla, Business Development Manager at Macrospec, explained the ambitious and truly impressive project for the Casaccio layer farm.
“With the assistance of Sanovo, we established the overall design and layout and completed the build project,” Luke said.
“We perform regular monthly services, UPS protection and we integrated electrical functions as well as automation of the layer housing and conveyor systems. Further training and process development has been an important part of the process.
“Our team at Macrospec worked with Sanovo’s technicians on all aspects of the electrical and mechanical installation.
“The Sanovo STAALKAT Ardenta 300 has 16 lanes and can handle 108,000 eggs per hour and we supplied the unit along with Sanovo Optilanes and Optidenesters.
“The fully integrated automated system includes washable egg crack detection, fully integrated egg printing and dirt detection. The dirt detector with adjustable sensitivity, makes use of an advanced full colour camera vision system that identifies dirt down to 1.0mm2.
“Blood spot detection, RFID batch scanning and full data extraction from the ‘Eggit Touch’ advanced touch screen control system, and washable load cells with 0.1 g accuracy and a 12 row Multiloader Kuhl washer system are key features of the installation,” Luke explained.
Before visiting the Casaccio Farm on the evening of the 15th, Poultry Digest had some time to relax in the attractive town of Terang, set deep into the dairy belt of south western Victoria.
A chat with the manager of the Terang Hotel revealed some details of the long history of first, the Milroy’s layer farm and now the expanding Casaccio enterprise.
“The farm has been a valuable part of the Terang community, providing not only great eggs but employment and even a source of learning for school kids.
Firstly Geoff O’Brien, Farm Manager from Casaccio Eggs, took Poultry Digest on a tour of the new and existing developments.
“Though cage system production is dominant with more than 148,000 birds housed, free range production at 15,000 birds is growing and will continue to expand as will a move to barn laid sheds,” Geoff said.
Genetics are Hy-Line Brown and the birds’ diets are supplied by Reid Stockfeeds.
Another critical innovation is an 80 kW solar system which includes solar heater roof panels which produce hot water for both egg washing and conversion to energy to power refrigeration for cool rooms and egg pulp freezer storage.
The sophisticated Solvis hot water/ energy system was the subject of finishing touches to the installation with Solvis tech staff still working after 8.30 p.m. on the night of the 15th – impressive!
The cool room is also truly impres – sive and can hold up to three days production. The materials handling systems have been designed to eliminate the need for fork lifts.
The loading bay at one end of the egg storage areas has a simple but effective loading dock.
Water storage on site stores rain water with a 145,000 litre capacity which is treated before use.
Geoff confirmed that the company often runs tours for school kids which, apart from cementing community links, provides the children with a closer understanding of where their food comes from and they all go home with a box of eggs!
Other community related projects include using the farm’s transport to deliver goods for charity and associated events.
Macrospec (formerly HMI Electri – cal) is the supplier and installer of the STAALKAT Farmpacker system and is based at Lara, near Geelong in Victoria. The company designs, supplies and installs a wide range of agricultural automation systems for the poultry industry.
“Our objective is to create optimum conditions for our customer’s product lines by supplying and installing market leading systems and software,” Luke Colla said.
“Our supplementary and turnkey solutions include feeding automation, sorting and grading systems as well as ventilation and conveyor systems.
“The ebmpapst AgriCool shed ventilation system has been specifically developed for the Australian poultry market. It can achieve power savings of more than 75% and so significantly reduce total running costs of broiler sheds.
“Retrofit trials have shown that the total number of fans used in a broiler shed can be reduced while at the same time providing higher air velocity for cooling. “AgriCool fans provide effective growing conditions for the birds through a stable temperature profile and even airflow through the shed.
“Macrospec is the Australian distributor for STAALKAT equipment and the local experts in installation, maintenance, fault finding and repair of all its equipment.
“STAALKAT products cover a complete range of machines and equipment for egg handling and grading and are designed to provide production facilities with a high degree of flexibility and efficiency.
“From the innovative ALIS contactless lamp system to 30W floodlighting, specifically designed for harsh poultry environments, Macrospec and Agri Lamp can supply you with a high quality product to suit most needs,” said Luke.
“Our range has been developed for new build projects as well as retrofit solutions and our lights are purpose built for the agricultural industry ensuring a robust design and build.
“The spectrum that is emitted by our light bulbs has been customised to suit poultry vision and this has been shown to reduce stress and increase productivity.
“Used in conjunction with our dimmers and dawn to dusk controller options, this will allow for optimum results and an even spread of light,” company supplied information states.
‘Macrospec has a very dedicated team of highly skilled technicians and we offer a full after sales support with critical spare parts stored locally.
“We have also developed a training and development process at Macrospec to match the advanced technology we sell and support.
“There is also a dedicated office team whose expertise we can call on located in Malaysia, The Netherlands, and Denmark,” Samuel Mills, Macrospec’s Operations Manager concluded.
This article originally appeared in Poultry Digest, and is used with their permission.