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Meet Versova’s One-of-a-Kind Hen Care Team

by J.T. Dean, President

What came first, the chicken or the egg? At Versova, our chickens always come first, because to produce safe, wholesome eggs for families across the nation, our hens must be healthy and safe 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For this reason, our company is committed to building a strong team of poultry nutrition and health experts to ensure our flocks are receiving the best possible care.

Versova’s unique approach to hen care not only ensures that our birds’ well-being is monitored daily, but also sets the high standards of how teams should function across all facets of Versova’s farms, proving that by working together we can all contribute to a shared success.

Corporate Veterinarians

As part of our farm’s commitment to making hen health the No. 1 priority, Versova employs full-time corporate veterinarians that oversee the care of our 30 million birds. Dr. Craig Rowles and Dr. Abbey Sindt train and work alongside our hen care teams, teaching them how to properly observe the flocks, review hen health data, and recognize normal versus abnormal bird health and behavior.

When they are not training other members of our team, Dr. Rowles and Dr. Sindt are visiting hen houses to observe flocks, assessing production data, analyzing results from surveillance testing performed on pullet flocks, or working to avoid potential disease challenges before they arise.

Directors of Nutrition

The key component in maintaining our hens’ well-being is ensuring that they are fed a safe, wholesome diet. That is where Versova leverages the expertise of its directors of nutrition, Jim Poock and Dr. Stacey Roberts.

Our directors of nutrition lead the pullet and layer nutrition program across the farms in Iowa and Ohio, and continuously work to enhance our flocks' diets. Their responsibilities include evaluating ingredient and complete feed quality, researching new technologies in pullet and layer nutrition, and analyzing production records to ensure optimal layer performance from a nutrition standpoint.

To ensure their desired nutrition program matches manufacturing capabilities, our directors are also constantly collaborating with the feed mill and production teams, working together to achieve the highest-quality feed rations possible for our hens.

Feed Mill Teams

As mentioned, our directors of nutrition are the masterminds behind planning the hens’ diets, but our feed mill teams are responsible for making the meals.

Versova’s four feed mills annually produce approximately 1,050,000 tons of feed, providing each hen approximately 78 pounds of feed per year. The directors of nutrition provide the feed formulas to the ingredient coordinators on the feed mill teams, who then work with farmers and suppliers to procure the ingredients.

From there, our feed mill teams check and sample each load of feed that is produced, following a quality control protocol to keep nutritional specifications up to date and ensure the feed is of the highest quality for our flocks.

Animal Care and Barn Maintenance Teams

If you’re looking for the employees who know the birds best, look no further than our animal care and barn maintenance teams. Animal care teams closely monitor the flocks round-the-clock to identify any potential health concerns that arise and to assure a constant supply of fresh feed and water.

Barn maintenance and animal care teams work together to ensure barns are kept clean, safe and comfortable. One way they achieve this is by utilizing manure belt technology with air drying systems to remove manure from barns, providing a clean environment for both farm employees and birds.

Taking care of our hens requires a village of committed individuals and Versova is proud to have the best employees caring for our flocks. Our teams are consistently adopting new methods and standards to ensure that our hens are given the highest quality care, and working to continually train animal care team members on proper hen handling to meet Versova’s high animal welfare standards.

Interested in becoming part of Versova’s hen care team? Check out the openings in Iowa and Ohio.