Information and advice about equipment for floor poultry farms.
What are the main parameters of the European norm?
- Linear feeders providing at least 10 cm in length per hen or circular feeders providing at least 4 cm in length per hen.
- Continuous drinking troughs providing 2.5 cm per hen or circular drinking troughs providing 1 cm in length per hen. In addition, where nipple drinkers or cups are used, there shall be at least one nipple drinker or cup for every 10 hens and where drinking points are plumbed in, at least two cups or two nipple drinkers shall be within reach of each hen;
- At least one nest for every 7 hens. If communal nests are used, there must be an area of at least 1 mq for a maximum of 120 hens.
- Adequate perches without sharp edges and providing at least 15 cm per hen. Perches must not be mounted above the litter. The horizontal distance between perches must be at least 30 cm and between a perch and a wall must be at least 20 cm.
- The stocking density must not exceed 9 laying hens per mq of usable area.
What does it mean "usefull surface"?
An area with a minimum width of 30 cm, a maximum gradient of 14 percent and a minimum height of 45 cm. The nesting areas are not part of the usable area.
Can I do a farming for commercial layers without slats?
NO, the perch is not mandatory, but it is mandatory to have 15 cm of perching space per bird/hen (18 cm if ORGANIC) and the perches must be installed over the slatted area. Please note that at least one third of the total usable area must be littered.
What are the main features of the organic stock farming?
Organic stok farming should ensure a close link with the land. Animal nutrition comes substantially from organic crops, and at least 50% from the farm on which the animals are kept, or produced locally in cooperation with other organic farms.
Organic livestock farming has a significant importance in organic farming, regarding the addition of organic matter and nutrients useful for crops. The numbers of livestock must be commensurate with the business and/or the surrounding area to ensure that manure spreading, and distribution is properly managed.
Organic stock farming should ensure the welfare of animals. In this respect husbandry practices, housing conditions, the choice of breeds, the numbers of animals in the breeding program and the production cycles of different animal species are all important. This must include giving the animal access, where possible, to open air or grazing areas.
At the start of conversion to organic livestock and products derived from them, animals shall be deemed organic after complying with the necessary period, which varies by species and type of production. Animals born and raised on organic holdings are considered organic.
When first establishing a herd young non-organic animals organically raised after weaning can be introduced.
How are the animals raised?
The animals are raised in the most natural way possible. This to satisfy their natural needs and allow their natural behavior. Outdoor rearing systems are predominant in organic farming. To move freely, choose their own food and have social contacts are basic needs of all animals. Other activities should include exploring, rooting (pigs), grazing (cattle), scratching or taking and sand bath (chickens). Taking a sand bath, for example, is not just a ritual, but allows the chickens to get rid of parasites. The parameters of this type of farming are defined by a European law.
What are the main differences compared with traditional stock farming?
The animals have more space available.
Compared to conventional farms, organic ones offer much more space for the animals to meet the different needs, that is, eating, sleeping, grooming, defecating. The size of the groups of animals shall be reduced to avoid stress and cannibalism.
The animals have access to outside areas and the light of the sun.
The animals are fed with organic feed.
The purpose is to ensure a high level of animal welfare and respect for the environment, to limit the use of drugs and to obtain a healthy product, without residues of drugs or pesticides. Certified organic farmers must record data on reproduction, nutrition, medical treatment, production, slaughter and marketing. These operations allow the traceability of organic products of animal origin. Data recording requirements for conventional products are not comparable.
All these measures ensure that products (milk, eggs, meat) from animals that have been raised in conditions of high welfare, and which contain lower residues of pesticides and drugs than animals and products from conventional farms, are traceable to the farms of origin. This ensures the transparency of the production chain and makes it as possible to take necessary measures in the case of events such food poisoning.