Marcel Kuijpers, his brother and two nephews, farm an enormous state-of-the-art poultry unit within the Netherlands.
The last word purpose of the enterprise, Kuijpers Kip, is to create a totally closed system, with chicks hatched and reared in the identical shed.
To shut the system fully, slaughter will ultimately be carried out in an on-site facility so that each one transport can be lower from the manufacturing chain.
See additionally: How on-farm hatching can enhance flock well being and lower prices
Presently, Mr Kuijpers has 256,000 broilers on website, with 85,000 dad or mum inventory producing 4m hatching eggs a yr.
“I wished to take away transport from the manufacturing chain since you ship broilers off to slaughter and by no means hear greater than their weight and value,” Mr Kuijpers says.
By masking the entire chain it’s attainable to get suggestions from each a part of manufacturing and to make essential administration adjustments extra rapidly.
With out transport, it’s a extra welfare-friendly system for the birds and the planet advantages due to the lowered carbon emissions, he says.
Mr Kuijpers determined he wished to remove the haulage facet of poultry manufacturing as way back as 2000.
On the time, his imaginative and prescient was distinctive, so designing and constructing the hatchery system needed to be completed from scratch. It then took virtually 15 years to acquire all the permits essential for the brand new models.
Building on the website near town of Grubbenvorst, within the Limburg area of the Netherlands, lastly started in 2015.
- 85,000 dad or mum inventory
- 4m eggs a yr
The on-farm hatchery overcomes a few of the variability in day-old chicks from a devoted hatching firm.
That’s as a result of chicks are likely to hatch over a 72-hour window. The primary ones to interrupt out then have the longest to attend on a standard hatchery earlier than they arrive at a broiler unit with entry to feed and water.
Chicks may additionally have a extra traumatic expertise as they need to be transported from the hatchery to the farm, explains Mr Kuijpers.
At Kuijpers Kip, this stress is eradicated and candled eggs from the hatchery are transferred to the rearing space the place the local weather is fastidiously monitored over the three days that the chicks hatch.
Meals and water factors are accessible to all chicks as quickly as they hatch, giving them a greater begin.
- 256,000 chicken locations
- 64,000 birds a shed
- 32,000 in two sections in every shed
Every self-contained shed includes a six-layered vertical aviary, with chicks on wooden shavings.
In accordance with Mr Kuijpers, trials have proven that birds hatched of their rising sheds have higher immunity to illnesses.
Researchers discovered the birds had greater immunoglobulin ranges of their blood, giving them improved resistance to micro organism and infections.
That is borne out by virtually zero antibiotics use on the farm. Nonetheless, vets are concerned all through the lifecycle of all birds. Care and vaccination plans are in place to make sure well being and welfare are maintained.
Mr Kuijpers has additionally launched a strategy of fixed evaluate throughout the hatchery and broiler unit to recognise, and act on, any anomalies in his manufacturing chain.
This entails accumulating and analysing knowledge by means of each lifecycle, together with monitoring feed intakes, development conversion charges and barn local weather.
In a novel undertaking backed by an area college and different poultry companies, Mr Kuijpers has begun listening to birds to know what they’re experiencing.
The purpose of the trial is to design a instrument that can work out when birds are burdened by the sounds they make and, in the end, to develop an alarm system that gives an early warning if feed, temperature and even draughts trigger chicken stress.
This consideration to element has led to glorious efficiency figures within the broiler unit.
Efficiency and welfare
- 70% develop to 2.7kg at 40 days
- 30% develop to 1.8kg at 35 days
- FCR – 1.55 (10% higher than common)
- Mortality 2%
- Low illness charges
- Nearly zero antibiotics use
- Leg circumstances improved to decrease than 10% of accepted goal.
Power restoration system
Whereas the general idea is forward of its time, the local weather management setup can also be leading edge – exploiting a closed heat-transfer system.
There is no such thing as a gasoline connection or different heating within the broiler sheds. As a substitute, warmth is harvested from areas containing older birds and recycled to youthful birds, that are much less capable of maintain their very own physique temperature.
“It’s about managing the provision and demand of warmth that’s tied up with the birds,” says Mr Kuijpers.
Key to the system is an Innov+ air scrubber fitted to all the sheds. Air scrubbers restrict odours, mud and ammonia emissions.
However crucially, in addition to eradicating ammonia emissions, the scrubber recycles the nice and cozy air produced within the broiler sheds and eliminates danger of illness by transferring it, germ-free, to the smallest chicks.
The system works by utilizing the outgoing air flow air to warmth the cleansing water within the scrubbers. The water then passes by means of warmth exchangers and is utilized in two methods.
A few of it’s used to preheat the incoming air flow air, permitting heat however recent, conditioned air to enter the home even on chilly days.
The remaining recovered warmth is boosted to 45C through a warmth pump and that is piped to areas with younger chicks.
The system has a really excessive effectivity issue, utilizing simply 1kW electrical vitality to get better 77kW of thermal vitality.
Electrical energy for the system and all the farm’s vitality requirement is derived from photo voltaic panels.
With a complete of 1mW, the panels produce sufficient vitality to produce 250 houses and simply meet the farm’s wants. It’s a particularly environment friendly course of and working prices have been slashed by 70%.
The improvements imply the farm achieves emission ranges which might be 30-40% decrease than these of conventional farms supplying supermarkets.
Mr Kuijpers’ eventual purpose is to construct an on-site slaughterhouse to convey carbon emissions and welfare requirements to a brand new degree, by eradicating the transport ingredient.
The ability can be stored as small as attainable initially, however in time will slaughter 4,000 birds an hour over an eight-hour working day.
It would imply the birds don’t go away the positioning throughout their lifetime and at full development can be caught mechanically and shocked, avoiding stress.
Finally the farm goals to extend to at least one million broilers, divided into 16 totally different age teams, on website at anybody time.
However growth plans and the on-site slaughterhouse have come to a standstill attributable to stress from animal rights campaigners.
Mr Kuijpers blamed deceptive info circulated about animal welfare requirements, which is swaying public opinion towards aviary methods within the Netherlands.
He says his system demonstrates the very best degree of animal welfare, with vet care and low transport ranges slicing stress from the manufacturing chain. The growth plans would make it even higher when it comes to welfare and the surroundings, he argues.
However as a result of he doesn’t function a slower rising, or free-range system, animal welfare teams are towards it.
Public lobbying of supermarkets has resulted in them pledging to promote eggs from perceived greater welfare methods, leaving Mr Kuijpers unable to promote his product within the Netherlands. As a substitute, he’s at the moment having to export to the UK.
He believes discussions must be based mostly on balancing welfare and carbon emissions to safeguard manufacturing of inexpensive, wholesome, environmentally pleasant meals to produce a rising world inhabitants.