SFR’s new laying facilities are certified
“Sustainable Livestock Production” and
will be complete in October 2010 .
The facilities comprise two layer barns, each
equipped with a Vencomatic aviary system, with 40
experimental units of 330 laying hens each. Together,
the two barns can house 26,400 laying hens.
Feed intake and egg production (number and
weight) can be measured automatically for each
experimental unit, so egg production and feed
conversion ratio can be calculated per experimental unit.
Additionally, a broad scale of additional
measurements, including health, welfare,
robustness, and feathering, can be carried
out under on-farm conditions.
The facility has been designed to perform
research into the best feed composition for
laying hens housed in a commercial aviary system
where hens have optimal freedom to move.
It is equipped with several feed silos
enabling the mixing of feeds for feedstuffs and
concentrates per experimental unit.
In addition to research into feed composition and
nutrient requirements, the performance of different layer
breeds can be compared under on-farm conditions.
this, we see an increasing interest in feedstuff evaluation.”
Over the last few years, SFR has introduced new energy
tables for sows, piglets, and laying hens, and these new
tables are more targeted than their predecessors. The
advantage of this is that more precise feeds can be made
at lower ingredient cost.
While the economy in many parts of the world remains
sluggish, offering value for money — and keeping an eye on
costs — is central to many businesses and achieving value for
money from inputs key.
And as demand for meat and feed rises, the pressure on
producers to achieve the best possible results will increase in
tandem, meaning that a proper understanding of each and
every ingredient that goes into feed cannot be ignored.
“The understanding of raw materials has changed. We now
know why some have positive effects and some negative
effects. In the past we may have thought that some were bad,
but now we understand limitations,” continues Dr van der Aar.
And as to the future?
“If we look to the future, we will start to evaluate things in
new ways. For example, there will be more account of health
and immunosuppression, and greater quantification of the
relationship between the quality of raw materials and end
products,” he adds. ◻