Columbia Farms of Georgia, Inc., an affiliate of House of Raeford Farms, Inc., has 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, South Carolina area and is expected to take 15 to 18 months to construct, the company said in a press release on Wednesday.

 “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,” said 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 the most modern equipment available, designed to produce a healthy, viable chick, the company said. A single stage incubation system will allow for steady temperature control and consequently a higher hatch rate and better quality.  The entire operation will be fully automated providing for an extremely high level of sanitary conditions and a very 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. The current operation includes a hatchery in Batesburg-Leesville; a feed mill in Monetta, South Carolina and a processing plant located in W. Columbia.

For more information, visit