A company created a modular rearing system that allows them to combine egg and quality rooster meat production, while respecting the environment and animal welfare.
In the conventional egg laying poultry sector, young male chicks are disposed of by being gassed. However, the Dutch company Kipsterwanted to set a different example where profitability can coincide with animal welfare and environmental protection.
Instead of disposing of the unwanted male chicks (roosters in the Netherlands), Kipsterinvested in a modular rearing system where hens and roosters are reared together for a period of 17 weeks. The rearing is carried out according to the specifications of the ‘BeterLeven’ quality mark, which is awarded on the basis of animal protection and welfare. After this period the roosters are slaughtered to produce high-quality meat. Besides setting up the new modular rearing system, the company is also developing a dedicated quality mark for rooster meat, which does not yet exist.
Hens and roosters are reared in the Kipster barn according to the criteria of the ‘Beter Leven Keurmerk’ quality mark. The eggs can be sold for 23 cents each, which is higher than the average price.
A contract has been signed with the supermarket chain Lidl to provide them with eggs produced by the hens over the next five years.
The new rearing system reduces the amount of livestock transportation. This is better for the environment and also for the welfare of the animals.
In 2019, the company will start a Kipster barn in Belgium.