Today Eyes on Animals visited the organic farm ‘t Geertje in Zoeterwoude (The Netherlands). At ‘t Geertje a variety of animals is kept on a small scale: goats, cattle, chickens, pigs and more. Their meat, eggs and dairy are primarily sold in their own farm shop.
A farm like ‘t Geertje, where the animals can walk around on straw and go outside, is not common. What makes ‘t Geertje extra unique is that some of the calves grow up with the dairy mothers in the herd and the laying-hens have a mobile coop where they can roam during the day and in which they sleep at night.
The male kids are fattened on the farm in spacious pens with straw bedding and kept for 5 months. So, they are not put on trucks and brought to slaughterhouses at a young age not (as is standard practice on many other dairy goat farms). At 5-months of age the kids are slaughtered at a small-scale slaughterhouse. Their meat is sold in the farm shop.
Eyes on Animals extends a big compliment to ‘t Geertje for their beautiful and animal friendly company. In order to become even more animal friendly Eyes on Animals has made some suggestions, such as climbing options for all goats (as goats are climbing animals and although they may appreciate straw bedding, they must also be able to climb), a pasture for the pigs to root in (they now had a paved outdoor area without the possibility to root, an important behaviour for them to express) and keeping even a greater percentage of their dairy calves in the herd with their mothers.