Big Dutchman equips welfare barn for 36,000 organic layers with aviary system and anti-mite innovation
Mites love laying hens – a fact which poultry managers hate, because parasites in the poultry house have a negative effect on animal welfare. Additionally, affected hens lay fewer eggs. Ditte and Morten Helsted from Rødby in South Denmark therefore decided to fight the unwelcome guests when they started planning a new barn for organic egg production: they ordered the new anti-mite perch MiLow for their Natura Step aviary from Big Dutchman. “The colleagues from Engineering have developed a suspension for the perch that makes it difficult for the mites to reach the birds,” says Big Dutchman sales manager Sebastian Dierken, explaining the big impact of the small innovation. The first flock of layers has already been moved into the new house.
Mites like to hide on the underside of perches or inside hollow spaces during the day; at night, they crawl to the birds. Dierken explains the positive effect of the barrier created by MiLow: “Our perch is suspended from a wire hook so the area of contact between the perch support and the perch itself is as small as possible.”
Another advantage: the oval perch has a larger contact surface, providing the birds with a better foothold while resting. This increases security as well as comfort for more animal welfare.
Ditte and Morten Helsted are very experienced livestock producers, though they focused on dairy farming and pig production (in addition to arable farming) in the past. Their latest investment showcases their courage and lots of entrepreneurial spirit, since high costs for construction, energy and of course feed have put Danish poultry farmers in a tight corner, similarly to many other countries.
The couple is confident about their future and decided to take the plunge. The result is a modern house for 36,000 organic layers which has a very attractive exterior and whose operators place much emphasis on animal welfare. Evidence of the latter: the use of not only MiLow, but also of the Natura Step aviary, a management system that perfectly combines the birds’ well-being with profitability. Natura Step is considered a classic Big Dutchman product. The Danish Big Dutchman sales agency Om GN Triova Aps was responsible for planning and construction of the new barn.