Black Eagle Farm Enters New Territory08 October 2008
Big Dutchman initiates a project in the USA - a large-scale organic egg production with NaturaNova Twin.
The official inauguration of a new layer house for organic egg production marked the starting point to enter new territory for Dr Ralph Glatt, the innovative owner of Black Eagle Farm in the US state of Virginia. The family enterprise from Piney River, approximately 200 kilometres south-east of Washington DC is the location of the first NaturaNova Twin on US soil. A total 48,000 layers are housed in the Big Dutchman aviary, a big seller in all of Europe on the sector of alternative layer management allowing high stocking densities.
The animal-friendly management system inside the house is supplemented by the attached free-range management outside the house. Another novelty is that Dr Glatt assumes a production capacity of approximately 14 million eggs per year. This means that Black Eagle Farm is the first farm in Virginia producing organic eggs on a large scale. Virginia’s deputy secretary of agriculture and forestry, William Dickenson, participated in the inauguration of this American newcomer.
Animal-Friendly Management on Black Eagle Farm
Animal-friendly management and breeding procedures have belonged to the every-day routine for a long time at Black Eagle Farm. This shows not only in the new layer house: birds are not only allowed access to the free-range area, but they can move freely in the entire house including winter garden with scratching area. The tailor-made core of the house is NaturaNova Twin from the Big Dutchman Natura modular system. The advantages of this aviary system are obvious: due to the intelligent structure of the installation, the hens can use different levels. The equipment with easy-access laying nests, perches arranged on several levels and sufficient space for scratching allows the birds to follow their natural behavioural patterns. At the same time, the system is planned so that layer managers have easy access to the individual sectors of the system and thus to the birds. This allows reducing the cleaning and controlling expenses considerably.
Special Feature: CombiTunnel Ventilation with Fresh Air Chimney
Regarding the house climatic system, Dr Glatt decided in favour of the innovative, well proven CombiTunnel ventilation from Big Dutchman. It combines two different ventilation systems, providing the perfect house climate in case of very high as well as very low outside temperatures. The result of all this is a very high laying performance in the house with very few mislaid eggs.
When the outside temperature is low or moderate, air intake is provided via fresh air chimneys installed above NaturaNova Twin. This allows mixing cold outside air with the house air, which achieves an optimum temperature when reaching the laying hens in the aviary. Another advantage is that the fresh air chimneys create vertical air movements. These push the dust downwards, thus significantly reducing the amount of dust in the house air. Moreover, these chimneys can be converted into exhaust air chimneys when the negative pressure in the house, e.g. due to open outlets, breaks down. In this case, the warm air rises and escapes through the chimneys.
When the outside temperature is high, on the other hand, ventilation is carried out in tunnel mode. Intake air enters the house through so-called 'tunnel air inlets' located close to the gable in both side walls and are pulled through the house in a longitudinal direction by high-capacity fans. High air speed at bird level and the wind chill effect ensure significant cooling with low energy consumption.