Inauguration of Natura Rearing Aviary for 84,000 Pullets

GERMANY - An internal open day in Eggermühlen, Germany, recently caused great interest among the 300 guests invited by Christiane and Theo Gärke, who built two remarkable new houses for a total number of 84,000 pullets which could be visited.
calendar icon 7 October 2009
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Christian and Bernard Apeler (at the very left and right, both Big Dutchman) hand over a present to Christiane and Theo Gärke on the occasion of the inauguration of their new rearing houses.
"Good luck": Upon the inauguration, they received a wreath with good wishes for the future.
Looking on a professional rearing aviary: Perches that can be automatically folded up or down allow the pullets to easily reach the different levels during the day. During the night, the perches are folded down so that the pullets rest inside the installation right from the beginning.

Both houses have been equipped with a Big Dutchman Natura rearing aviary which allows the birds to get to know their environment for their later transfer to a laying aviary.

Special interest among the experts caused the additional bottom wire that the Gärke family had installed on the third level. This additional feature allows even more freedom of movement and resting area for the birds.

The process of "training" within the rearing aviary follows a certain pattern that has already proved itself: The day-old chicks area housed preferably on the central level for approximately 21 days. After about 10 days, half of the chicks move to the lower level. Around the 4th week of life, the chicks’ tiers are opened up. Now, the pullets can move around freely on all levels and learn how to jump and fly.

Since the birds go to the top level for the night, but have to move to the two lower levels for feed and water supply they constantly move between the different levels.

At the end of this "training phase", there are healthy birds with a very uniform behaviour. By the time the pullets are transferred to the laying aviary from week 16 onwards, they are well trained and are immediately comfortable using the different areas (feeding, scratching and resting).

The training time is thus very short which in turn significantly facilitates the flock management of layers in floor and free range management.

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