Inauguration of Natura rearing aviary for 84,000 pullets
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. 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 was caused by 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 approx. 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.