GardenGrass in Rondeel poultry houses
the egg of Columbus
The Lohmann Brown hens in the first Rondeel poultry house in Barneveld are faring well: courtesy of the artificial grass system of GardenGrass. The success of the initiative prompted the decision to install artificial grass in Rondeel’s second revolutionary poultry farm in Wintelre, in the province of Noord-Brabant (Netherlands).
The Rondeel facility is a unique housing concept for laying hens. The concept is the culmination of extensive research undertaken at Wageningen University, which set out to explore the options for a sustainable future for laying hen husbandry. The first Rondeel facility was opened in the Dutch town of Barneveld in April 2010. Construction of the second Rondeel facility commenced in September.
In a nutshell, the concept consists of night quarters and day quarters. The night quarters provide for the hen’s primary needs: eating, sleeping, resting and laying eggs. The day quarters are designed to meet the hen’s natural needs such as scratching and dust bathing. The Rondeel facility is the ultimate example of economic and corporate social responsibility: respect for animal welfare, the environment and economic gains.
The role of artificial grass in the Rondeel facility
The aim of the initiators was to introduce a true-to-nature concept into the hens’ day quarters. In other words: to simulate the hens’ natural outdoor environment indoors. Not natural grass, which would have a limited life span, but artificial grass. GardenGrass was the only supplier willing to take up the challenge of fitting the entire Day Quarters out with artificial grass, allowing the hens to move around freely, scratch and peck at the ground.
Initial results are encouraging, suggesting that the intended beneficial effects have been established: healthy, vibrant hens producing a high egg yield. Those positive results provided much of the impetus for introducing the second facility so soon after the first. This Rondeel facility will also be equipped with the GardenGrass system. A sustainable solution for an equally sustainable concept.