TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY A researcher at A&M hopes his invention will revolutionize the poultry industry.
Dr. Craig Coufal created a machine that sanitizes eggs for hatching, and he says the machine could save poultry farmers tens of thousands of eggs each year.
"Place the eggs on the conveyor, and then they go through the process," said Dr. Coufal.
Coufal says his invention sanitizes eggs by combining hydrogen peroxide and UV lights.
Right now, Coufal says most farmers don't clean their eggs at all. That's why poultry farms just accept that some of their eggs may get infections and become rotten.
"The egg has it's own natural defenses, or barriers, to keep bacteria out. That works 99% of the time," said Dr. Coufal. "If you have 50,000 chickens, you know, 1% is a lot."
Coufal says those losses don't have to be part of the business anymore.
The machine took him six months to build, and now, it takes less than a minute for an egg to go through the mist and come out virtually germ-free.
"We've never seen any indications that it does anything detrimental to the egg. In fact, it makes the eggs better," said Coufal.
Coufal says their research, so far, has shown that sanitizing eggs means fewer rotten eggs and better quality chicks. The machine is currently being tested on a poultry farm in East Texas.
Dr. Coufal says it's too early to tell how much the machine will cost farmers. He says he hopes the eggs and money saved in the end will make farmers willing to change their ways.