Since the summer of 2017, Aeres Farms has a new poultry shed that was designed according to guidelines set by the ‘3 sterren Beter Leven Keurmerk’, or 3-star Better Life Label. Because of this, the shed conforms to the very strict standards that the Dutch animal rights organization ‘Dierenbescherming’ sets for this label. Students from our university of applied sciences (UAS) were directly involved in designing the new facilities and they run, among other things, this poultry shed that houses 1,000 laying hens.
One of the spearheads was very important to the students: optimal opportunities for practical learning and practical research in a socially responsible manner. This is why the new poultry shed was designed according to the Dierenbescherming’s criteria for the 3-star label Better Life for Laying Hens. Standards for this label include natural light in sheds and a roofed range for 6.7 hens per square metre.
To the UAS it is important that students carry out all kinds of research on sustainability challenges, which is why the shed has been divided into four sections of 250 chickens each. In addition, the shed has a classroom and a visitors centre where eggs are sold.
In the new shed, research is also carried out on alternative sources of protein in poultry feed, the possibilities of insects in cattle feed, and soy bean cultivation in Europe. The construction of the new shed was made possible partially by contributions from the business sector.