Today Eyes on Animals gave an animal welfare training to the catching team of Kees Sijbenga of Demeter poultry farm de Dennenhoeve. After the training the catchers caught Kees’s 2.800 laying hens using the EonA upright method under supervision of Eyes on Animals. Normally the hens are caught by one leg, held upside down and then stuffed into crates 3-5 at a time for transportation. In late 2020 the Demeter poultry farms in the Netherlands switched to the EonA upright catching method for animal welfare reasons.
Kees’s catching team consisted of approximately 20 friends, acquaintances, and neighbors. Two poultry vets were also present to observe the catch. The hens were caught within 1,5 hours. Because there were additional catchers, the process did not take any longer than before. The flock was slightly more stressed than we are used to with brown hens. This can be caused by multiple factors, such as the temporary indoor confinement due to bird flu, and/or the living circumstances during breeding. Nevertheless, the catching and loading went very well. The catchers kept noise and movement to a minimum , and they treated the hens with respect; they took their work seriously. Next time we attend a catch, we will make the barn even darker as we noticed this provides a calmer environment.
We also noticed that there were less blood lice in the barns, Kees advised us that they use the tempex-beetle. This beetle eats this blood louse and thus causes the blood lice level in the barn to remain low. This is essential as blood lice can cause a lot of itching and irritation, with the hens, which prevents them from receiving proper rest. It also causes the catchers to itch.
Today was the first time that Kees’s hens were caught with the EonA upright method. Kees told us that he was very content with how the evening went and that he is keen to continue using our method.
We want to thank Kees, the catching team and the poultry vets for their efforts, enthusiasm and professionalism.