Today, Eyes on Animals visited Smits’ poultry farm. Here they also produce eggs under the label Eike which are sold at Sligro (wholesaler). The Eike laying hens get daylight (via light tunnels in the ceiling) and have access to enrichment material in the barn (tree stumps and live larvae daily). The reason for our meeting is that Smits has indicated that they would like to have their Eike laying hens, when they have to go to slaughter, caught upright to further improve animal welfare. This effects over 40,000 white laying hens.
Eyes on Animals is very pleased that Smits is changing to the upright method of catching. We had already convinced egg producers Kipster, Demeter, Rondeel and Gijs to implement this method. De Grote Kamp (egg packing station) and Ekoplaza also joined in.
The catching crew Smits uses is familiar with the Eyes on Animals upright catching method and has already received training from us. On the evening(s) that catching will take place at Smits (mid 2022), the catchers will receive a refresher training so the chickens experience as little stress as possible and each catcher has a good comprehension of the technique. Eyes on Animals will of course be present on these evenings.
Approximately a month prior, a visit to the barn will be scheduled to familiarize ourselves with the aviary system and the behavior of the hens (where in the aviary the hens spend most of their time, what their condition is like and which areas require extra attention). This in order to be as prepared as possible, so we can coordinate the final details and the evenings runs as smoothly as possible.