It seems to be almost a tradition that in the spring we see birds other than our own chickens. In addition to the usual meadow birds, we have had a curlew in the country and a pair of partridges at the feed storage. But today a stork was a guest with the cows in the country.
In order to comply with the conditions of the awarded experimental status of WIndstreek, our poultry house, we have now started with measuring the emissions. In order to be allowed to keep animals in the Netherlands, these animals must be kept in a recognized low emission housing system. If you are designing from scratch (such as the Windstreek house), you can only keep animals in the system if you request an experimental house status. With this the system must be measured after the actual emission of ammonia and sometimes also odor and particulate matter emissions. The last months, Buro Blauw, an independent laboratory, has already been busy to draw up the correct measurement protocol. and now the actual measurements have been started, as shown in the pictures below.
From 1963 we raise up broilers on our farm. Since 2015 we only raise up slower growing broilers with a Better Life Label from the animal welfare company Dierenbescherming.
In 2015 we also build a new poultry house, the windstreek house. This house is a huge step forward in animal welfare and sustainability. click here for more information about this unique poultry house. But sustainability is also important for our whole farm. Click here for more information about sustainability in our farm.
In 2015 the two broiler houses are rebuilt for slower growing broilers with an extended wintergarden and daylight windows in the roof.
The picture below shows our poultry house 1, while the day old chicks are just arived. When the broilers come out of the egg, the are direct transported to our farm. Here we try to do our best to raise them up as good as possible to an averaged weight of 2.4 kg.
We started in May 2017 with the construction of a sustainable heat storage installation. In doing so, we not only use solar heat to heat up the floor in the chicken house and in our own house, but we also use the heat released during the cooling of the milk in this innovative heat storage system. The Ecensy company has designed the system and is now fully engaged in the installation of the various components.
The total system consists of a large water solar collector surface with heat pump, a insulated hot water storage tank of 50,000 liters, a closed source system for bottom heat storage, a refrigerant storage tank of 300 liters for cooling the milk and a heat pump. In addition, there is a storage tank of 1000 liters with hot water in the cow house and at the house. A new milk tank has also been purchased so that it fits seamlessly into the system.
The total system is operating by 15 February 2018. At the end of summer 2017, the milk cooling with heat pump, closed source and residential heating was put into operation. In addition to the gas reduction that has already been measured at the home last winter, we hope that with the linking of the heat pump with solar collectors (where water is heated up), on the roof of the poultry house, to the already operating system, an even more substantial reduction to achieve our gas consumption.
Below is a photo album with an overview of the progress of the total installation.
As a Nuffield 2018 Scholar Robert does research to use all his computer data from the poultry houses to develop management skills and with the help of block chain he is wordking on a better data transfer trough the meat chain. He also hopes it can hhelp inform consumers to get a better understanding in the way broilers are raised up.
More about Nuffield, look at www.nuffield.nl)