Jack Renken and Lisette van Es in Dronten, the Netherlands, switched to the One2Born system four years ago. They are very enthusiastic about this animal-friendly system. ‘I see happy chickens, and a happy farmer.’ says Lisette.
These poultry entrepreneurs in the Dutch Province of Flevoland aim to keep healthy and strong broilers in the most natural system possible. One2Born is a perfect fit for this goal. ‘Our experiences with the One2Born system are very good, and we couldn’t want more.’ Jack tells us. Their farming company, Jandlis Meat, keeps 28,000 broilers and 40 suckler cows. Jack and Lisette believe that the stress-free start this gives the chicks, and the trays, which biodegrade in the house, contribute a lot to animal welfare. The Schotman hatchery packs and transports the 18-day pre-incubated eggs in ‘hatchholders’. The chicks hatch, from the pre-incubated eggs, in the housing on the farm. ‘The trays of eggs arrive on the farm three days before hatching in the broiler house. Measuring the egg temperature is one extra task, but that is compensated by the advantages of the One2Born method. Once the eggs are hatched, the trays offer perfect nesting material. The chicks lie relaxed in the trays with the comfortable feeling of being in a nest. ‘And they get extra calcium because they eat the eggshells, just as they would in nature.’ says Lisette.
From nest to play-material
The nest material gradually becomes play-material for the chicks. ‘The chicks use and amuse themselves with the trays from day 0 to 35. This works as a distraction and encourages natural behaviour much better than hay bales. The chicks have had enough of the hay after just a couple of days.’ admits Jack, who sees that his chicks are active but relaxed with the One2Born method. Eventually, the chicks shred the trays, which are made of fully-biodegradable paper pulp. ‘The shreds mix into the litter, adding an aerated layer to it, which keeps it cooler on very warm days. The broiler chicks distribute around the house well and achieve good growth. A good start improves feed conversion and growth. Mortality is low and we seldom use antibiotics.’ Lisette has noticed that having strong and healthy broilers that do well makes Jack very happy. ‘It’s beautiful to have healthy chicks that show their natural behaviours, while also having more pleasure in your work. What more could anyone want?’ says Lisette with a little laugh.
Chicken sales to the door
Besides selling their own farm-reared beef, Jack and Lisette have also begun direct sales of chicken meat under the name Jandlis Goed ID Kip (Good Idea Chicken). ‘This is still in the start-up phase right now, but we are aiming at marketing a larger proportion of our chicken meat directly to consumers.’ Lisette tells us. There is a big screen in the shop, on which people can see the broilers in their house. ‘One2Born is an appealing story for consumers, and we are happy to spread the good news. We explain this natural way of working and its advantages for the broiler chicks. People can see it with their own eyes, and they think this is great, because they see healthy, vital and active broilers.’