WattAgNet: CO2-neutral egg farm opens in the Netherlands


An egg farm with poultry welfare, sustainability and the environment as core principles has opened in the Netherlands and its products are already in a leading supermarket.

The first carbon-neutral eggs from what has been called the “most state-of-the-art layer farm in the world” are now on supermarket shelves.

Read the entire report about this carbon-neutral egg farm exclusively in the December issue of Poultry International.

With the first layers taking up residence in late September, the Kipster farm, near Venray, the Netherlands, took five months from groundbreaking to receiving birds and was four years in development, but its developers believe they have designed a model that is not only flexible and scalable, but also future proof.

The Kipster model has been developed around the needs and instincts of chickens, say its developers -- farmer Styn Claessens, poultry farming lecturer Ruud Zanders, environmental expert Maurits Groen, and communications strategist Olivier Wegloop. But it goes beyond this, and is carbon neutral, a net exporter of energy, has its own packing station, and offers consumers a way of connecting with nature.

Claessens, from a poultry-producing family, believes Kipster is welfare- and environmentally friendly, offers good working conditions and a reasonable income, and sees the model as being the future of egg farming.

This new design offers birds access to a fenced-off outdoor space, with plantings and tree stumps offering stimulation. And a similar environment has been created within the house. A full-height naturally illuminated atrium runs down the building’s center, and the indoor and outdoor areas can be fully cleaned, reducing disease pressure.

According to Marijke de Jong, program manager for the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals’ Beter Leven quality mark, among the welfare benefits offered by Kipster is that hens reared on the farm will be less stressed than those reared using more traditional methods, and so there will be less cannibalism.

Poultry welfare considerations were taken into account from the very start of the farm’s design phase and the facility is expected to be awarded three stars once officially reviewed for Beter Leven.


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