In April, the first Rondeel layer house was opened on a farm near the village of Barneveld in the Netherlands.
Currently, the first flock of 30,000 brown layers have started producing. The Rondeel facility is an alternative circle shaped aviary house with a partly covered free-range area.
The Rondeel concept is the result of a government project that was launched in 2003. The idea was to find new ways of housing in order to respond to changing demands of consumers. Animal welfare was, in particular, a major issue. Various public parties were involved including animal welfare groups. Also, Vencomatic participated and eventually the Rondeel concept was born in 2008.
Construction of the first facility was completed in April, and the first flock of 30,000 Lohmann brown birds have started laying.
The first results look promising. The birds seem to produce according to Lohmann standards. They are kept in 5 compartments of 6,000 layers each. In 1 compartment feed is distributed and eggs are collected from the Bolegg system. These are packed in special boxes that are made of coconut fibre and that contain 7 eggs each. Dutch retailer Albert Heijn buys the eggs directly from the farm.
An extensive article on the new Rondeel house will appear in the upcoming No. 06 edition of World Poultry.