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NATURA60 – THE MODERN AVIARY FOR LAYERS IN FLOOR MANAGEMENT

NATURA60 is Big Dutchman’s newly developed type of aviary for layers. The design concept is based on the idea to reduce the management effort and at the same time increase reliable and efficient production.

After the hens are moved in, the system remains closed for some time. This procedure allows the hens to get to know their new environment, known as the phase of familiarization.

Feed and water can easily be accessed and by using the stairways the hens become accustomed to all levels. A partition installed every 2.41 m (after every section) makes for manageable group sizes of 130 to 150 birds. This ensures evenly used nests right from the start.

The farm staff can easily supervise the flock from the inspection aisle. Even in cases of maximum stocking densities, NATURA60 offers ample space to the hens thanks to the many surface areas.

After the familiarization phase is over, the system can be fully opened, and the hens are now able to act out their natural behaviors of scratching, picking and dust bathing.

NATURA60 is Big Dutchman’s innovative type of aviary for layers. The design concept is based on the idea to improve bird welfare of the flock, and also the cage-free environment. With quality space for each hen to act out their natural behaviors, such as:

 

  • Perching
  • Dust bathing
  • Foraging
  • Nesting
  • Exploring and other social behaviors

 

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The farm staff can easily supervise the flock from the inspection and litter aisles, and have easy access to each tier. The NATURA systems are engineered with the philosophy of, the easier the system is to manage, the better management will be performed.

 

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After the hens are moved in, the system remains closed for a familiarization phase, providing less competition for the hen’s basic needs, resulting in less stress on the flock.

 

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After the familiarization phase is over, the system can be fully opened, providing an additional environment for them to act out their natural behaviors of scratching, foraging and dust bathing.

 

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ADVANTAGES AT A GLANCE:

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Fresh drinking water on top and bottom tiers provide easy access to water for the entire flock

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Perches offer a relaxed environment

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Nests are positioned in the top tier where hens naturally go to seek out a secure place to lay their eggs

  • Litter aisles are areas of the house that are free and open to the flock
  • Inspection aisles are used by the farm managers for system and flock inspection
  • The nests and longitudinal egg belts are located above the inspection aisles and are easily accessible
  • Both sides of the system are easily accessible for flock management
  • Interior stairways provide access for the hens to the different levels of the aviary
  • The hens access the litter aisles through large openings at the bottom level of the system

MORNING

Every morning the doors open:
The NATURA60 and 70 CAGE-FREE systems have doors which open every morning to allow your flock to have free access to the litter aisles. Each night the flock moves back into the system independently without any human involvement. The fact is hens want to feel secure and they feel secure inside the system, much like we want to be inside our houses at night.

LITTER

Properly dried litter for a healthy and calm flock:
With the flock inside the system every night the litter is able to dry thoroughly, providing quality litter in which your flock can forage, dust bathe, and move around without the litter sticking to their feet. The better the quality of litter, the more the hens will use this area to act out their natural behaviors, improving the welfare of the entire flock.

MOVEMENT

Movement outside, and inside the system:

Movement is easy for the hens whether they’re inside or outside of this system. Outside of the system, they’re able to roam around, dust bathe, forage, interact with other hens, perch and do what they please. Within the system they can eat, drink, perch, move from the bottom to the top levels, and nest to lay their eggs.

FRESH FEED AND WATER

Fresh feed and water for the entire flock:

The entire flock has easy access to fresh feed and water whenever they want it. Our feed and water placement is intentional in order to promote bird movement within the system. Water is placed at the top level right outside the nests to provide the birds a drink after they lay their eggs, and another line of drinkers is placed in the lower tier of the system.

Feed is strategically placed inside the system to promote bird movement and open up quality space.

Encouraging bird movement is vital for a healthy flock. When birds move around air flow is increased, resulting in healthier birds, a calm flock, and drier litter.

NEST AND EGG HANDLING

NEST PLACEMENT / HANDLING

NEST DESIGN

Maximize egg laying and egg quality:

It’s the hen’s natural desire to find the most secure place to lay her eggs. The nests are located in areas to provide this sense of security they seek. After the egg is laid, it gently rolls out onto the egg collection belt, and then heads to the egg packing area automatically.

  • NEST ACCEPTANCE 98%

The nest average acceptance is 98%, but for those rare times when an egg is laid outside of the nest, we’ve built in a built in system egg tray to make picking up the mis-laid eggs easy and fast.

Operation of the tilting nest floor (patent-no. EP 1 086 623 A2)

The egg belt is located in the center to allow the eggs be laid directly in front of the belt . This design ensures the shortest possible roll-off distance for the eggs, minimizing the amount of cracked and checked eggs.

Before the divided nest floor completely closes the nest, it is first raised in the center, increasing the inclination of the rear part of the nest floor and removing any eggs from the nest area.

The nest floor is raised completely, allowing any dirt to drop off the nest insert as well as closing off the nest to prevent hens from entering and brooding inside.

SYSTEM INSPECTION AND MANAGEMENT

Management made easy:

The NATURA60 is easy to manage, which means your staff will do a thorough job. The NATURA60 has two separate aisles for your flock management; the litter aisle, and the inspection aisle. The litter aisle is used when the flock is inside the system during the night and early in the morning before the flock is let out.

Having the flock inside the system allows you to inspect the litter aisle without any contact with the hens, making system management from the litter aisle easy and fast. The inspection aisle is used throughout the day when the flock is out of the system. From this aisle you can inspect the system, check on the flock with easy access doors, and look for any mis-laid eggs and collect them from the integrated system egg tray

INSIDE FOR THE NIGHT

 

Finding security within the system:

Just as we go inside every night, your flock wants to go inside to find security and comfort. Every night the entire flock heads back into the system without any human involvement. As the lights dim, the hens begin to hop up into the system through the access doors at the lowest level.To keep the flock safe, we only offer the ability for them to enter and exit the system from the lowest level.