Science - April 21, 2010

Chicken-friendly coops from ASG are now for real

A poultry farmer in Barneveld has recently opened the Rondeel, a chicken-friendly coop developed by the Animal Sciences Group six years ago.

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The Rondeel was an entirely new chicken coop concept when it was developed in 2004 to cater to societal demands, particularly in the area of animal welfare. Chickens in the Rondeel can move about in various sections on the farm: a daycare section, a night quarter and the forest edge.  In the covered daycare section, the chickens can scurry about in dusty grounds. They can also go outdoors during the day.
The Rondeel has been awarded three stars by the Animal Protection Association, which makes this coop system even better than the organic poultry farm with regard to animal welfare. The coop has room for thirty thousand egg-laying hens, and is partitioned into five segments laid out around a central unit, from where visitors can view the set-up.
Happy
Gerard Brandsen in Barneveld is the first poultry farmer to have the Rondeel built. A week after it was opened in April, the chicken coop had already attracted four thousand visitors. The second Rondeel coop is being constructed in North Brabant.
This type of chicken coop was developed in a project titled 'Love your hens' in which the Animal Sciences Group worked together with poultry farmers, the feed industry, veterinarians, egg processing factories and social organizations such as the Animal Protection Association. The man-in-the-street also had the chance then to contribute ideas towards a coop system which chickens, farmers and citizens will be happy with.  

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