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Egg Xact Egg counter MV 04070

Cage-free layer house control

Control systems for cage-free layer houses

From feeding and drinking, to burning calories and laying eggs. Laying hens behave differently in many ways when they are out of the cage. This means that egg producers need to set up their processes differently in order to achieve optimal results. Here we share lessons learned from more than 20 years of experience in controlling and automating cage-free layer houses and in optimizing egg production.

We explain how you, as a cage-free egg producer, can:

1. Manage your layers’ daily routine using feed, water, light and nest control
2. Control feed, water, lighting, nests, climate, weighing and egg counting with one single control system
3. Optimize egg production and egg flow control in cage-free houses

‘’Send your layers to the right floor by smart feeding and watering, use feeding chains in multiple groups.’’

Cage free white layers

How to influence your chickens’ behavior by controlling feed, water, lighting and nests

If you want to maximize laying performance in cage-free houses you need to influence the daily routines of layers. Control systems, such as our Fortica® system, enable you as an egg producer to train your layers through smart feeding, watering and lighting regimes. With the Fortica® system, you can control nests and feed chains in multiple groups. This is particularly useful for sending the layers to the right floor and getting them back into the systems on time in cage-free houses.

Cage free white layer

You can influence the behavior of your chickens even more precisely if you also use linked light timers. By dimming different lights in a certain order, the chickens are sent to the right place in the system. In this way, the layers are influenced to go to the right floor and the right nest. At exactly the right time.

“One system to control and automate feed, water, nests, lighting, climate, weighing and egg flow.”

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Fortica®: all-in-one control system for cage-free layer houses

You want your laying hens to perform optimally. For that, it is of utmost importance that you create the optimal living conditions for your animals. With the Fortica® control system you can monitor, control and automate all your layer house processes, such as climate, feed, water, lighting, egg flow and animal weighing.

Fortica app poultry remote control2

For example, it gives you insight into body weight, indication of animal health, flock uniformity and it allows you to optimize planning and improve results through management data. With the app and the innovative Farm Management software, you are always aware of what is happening in your layer houses. And you can act within seconds, from your computer, tablet or smartphone. Fortica® helps you create the optimal living environment, resulting in healthier animals, better animal performance, less use of medication and therefore better results and profits.

Read more about Fortica

“Direct your layers to the right place by using linked light timers for separate nest groups.”

Cage free eggs

Optimizing egg production with Egg Flow Control

Hotraco’s Egg Flow Control is unique system that saves productions costs by providing a smooth, continuous egg flow from the layer house to the packing point. The egg flow rarely needs to stop, leading to reduce shell damage and less collection time. Thanks to the continuous exchange of information, you can react faster to changing conditions in the layer house. This system can regulates different variations. You can run the Egg Flow Control system by gathering all layer houses simultaneously or in batches or per barn.

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Want to learn more about how to influence the behavior of layers in cage-free houses?

Feel free to contact one of our cage-free specialists
Egg Xact Egg counter MV 04070

The new EggXact egg counters

In 2021, Hotraco developed EggXact; an egg counter with a new shape and communication system for extreme reliability and durability. With EggXact egg counters you always have real-time insight into the egg production of your layers per belt. Per day, per hour, and per minute. Thanks to the real-time and continuous exchange of information, egg producers can react faster to changing conditions in the house and regulate the egg flow more quickly. Read more about how we radically improved egg counting in 7 ways with EggXact on our website.

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About Hotraco Agri – specialist in cage-free layer house control

Cage-free has been the industry standard in Europe for many years. As a Dutch company, Hotraco Agri has been a global leader in poultry house automation for decades and has more than 20 years of experience in optimizing performance in cage-free laying houses.

Read more about Hotraco Agri

Explore our cage-free layer projects


Fortica successfully applied in Swedish free range chicken farm

The Swedish brothers Christer Berghem and Martin Andersson and their families started to raise Free Range chickens during the autumn of 2015. The Stora Lund farm has been in their family since the brother’s grandfather and father bought it back in the nineteen fifties. They used to produce pigs, but they stopped doing so about ten years ago because of the economic situation. This is when they decided to devote their time to arable farming and started to grow potatoes and wheat. They went to a meeting on organic farming last spring at which they were introduced to the idea of holding free range chickens. As they still had the old pig houses they decided to give this a go as the idea behind the concept was based on using existing buildings.