Tonight the “spent” laying hens of Kipster in Beuningen were to be caught and loaded for transport.
Kipster employees spent 5 hours installing wire fencing along the entire bottom of all of their aviaries to block the birds from going underneath the installation, so that upright catching could also be very efficient. Normally catchers have to go underneath the installations to try and grab birds low on the ground- this is time-consuming and unpleasant for the catchers. Blocking this area so that birds do not get stuck underneath results in the catching taking less time and the catchers not having to bend down on the ground. Kipster had also rented a de-stacker, so birds sitting on the top of the aviary could be loaded into crates placed higher up, again to save time and ease loading. We like the attitude of Kipster, trying to find practical solutions to make upright catching even smarter. We also appreciate that they want to continue to have their hens caught calmly and upright, as they have been doing over the past 4 years, to reduce fear and injuries. What we regret, however, is that there is increasing resistance from the upper chicken-catching umbrella organizations to accepting upright catching. This pressure has resulted in many chicken-catching crew leaders becoming increasingly reluctant to catch poultry upright.
Although Kipster does its best and a number of catchers do too, a good part of the spent-hens were not caught upright tonight. We would like to quickly meet with the parties involved to ensure that laying-hen poultry farmers who wish to do so can simply have their hens caught upright.