At the end of 2020, Yverde's brand new poultry house welcomed its first layers. Yverde deliberately chose to build a modern, sustainable house where 3-star eggs are produced. Careful attention has been paid to the welfare of the chickens in and around this poultry house.
Producing Beter leven 3-star eggs (Better Living Certification) starts with good housing for the layers. The welfare of the chickens is key. Yverde's new poultry house includes a covered winter garden, and the chickens can roam naturally in the expansive 21-hectare free-range meadow. Yverde's layers have plenty of room to move around, so the birds feel comfortable and at ease. This is reflected in their behaviour. They scratch, eat, drink, rest and lay an egg every day.
Yverde's poultry house is equipped with the latest technology to promote animal welfare and allow the farm to be run as sustainably as possible. An example is the central exhaust duct with a heat exchanger at the end. In the technical room there is a modern control panel with integrated Forticas. These Forticas, running special software for free-range hens, perfectly regulate all the processes in the house, such as ventilation, feed control, lighting, animal weighing and egg flow.
The Fortica® system regulates the climate in the house and controls the heat exchanger via unique software that also keeps emissions of fine particulate matter to a minimum. The system also maintains a more stable climate in the poultry house during the winter. The chickens have year-round access to the covered winter garden, which they reach through insulated Tulderhof pop holes. When the pop holes are open, the Fortica® system operates with temperature-based ventilation. When the pop holes are closed, the Fortica® system ventilates on the basis of the negative pressure. The Fortica® system ensures that the poultry house is ventilated as sustainably and efficiently as possible.
Information is power, and collecting that information is key. The animals are weighed continuously on automated animal scales in the house. As such, the poultry farmer always has up-to-date data on the average weight of the chickens. The eggs are also counted automatically. As the eggs exit the aviary system they pass an egg counter. Accurate egg counting provides direct insight into deviations per section and enables the poultry farmer to take timely measures to optimise egg flow.
Simply put, the Fortica® system in Yverde's sustainable house not only helps to improve the welfare of the laying hens but also relieves the poultry farmer of many facets of operation of the house! This is a tremendous win-win for the people and animals.