Rondeel is an egg- farm in Barneveld with 30,000 hens. The managers have tried to provide an environment that, as much as possible, permits the hens to express their natural behaviours such as foraging, dust-bathing, nest-building and perching. The hen’s beaks are not trimmed and they have free access to the outdoors and the warm indoors. The farm is in the shape of a circle where the hens live in groups of 6000 each around the focus point- the barn.
It was a conscious choice of the owners to have 30,000 hens, as it is a figure that permits them to be economically competitive. The goal is to build several of these types of free-range but economically viable egg-producing farms in the Netherlands. The second Rondeel farm is being built now in Brabant.
At 14 months of age the hens are sent for slaughter, but Rondeel is hoping to push back the slaughter age so that the hens can live longer. They are unfortunately slaughtered in “normal” slaughterhouses where they are hung up and electrically stunned. We were disappointed however that there wasn’t any fire prevention or fire codes in place. Considering that 132,000 chickens died just this year in barn fires, Rondeel and all other places with large number of sentient-beings inside need to take measures to prevent such a disaster.
Rondeel packages its own eggs, in environmentally-friendly coconut packaging and are sold exclusivley at Albert Hijn supermarkets. The farm is completely transparent, with public visitors welcome to visit on any day except Sunday.
We would like to thank Rondeel, and in particular Ruud, for the tour and presentation he gave us on this day. Eyes on Animals will certainly recommend that people wishing to eat eggs purchase them from Rondeel farms.