Great Britain changing lanes: barn or free-range egg production?

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Great Britain is currently experiencing many changes, political and others. One of them specifically concerns egg production in the country. In addition to the challenges posed by the Brexit, the egg industry is facing another “exit”: Tesco, one of the country’s largest retailers, has announced that it will no longer sell eggs produced in enriched colony systems from 2025. Other major companies have also committed to going cage-free, such as the food services provider Sodexo, whose decision includes shell eggs and liquid eggs. The supermarket chains Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Aldi have already phased out eggs produced in enriched colony units.

The National Farmers’ Union, active in England and Wales, expects the industry’s most radical change since the ban on poultry cages in 2012. As much as 43 percent of the 1.4 billion shell eggs sold by Tesco are produced in enriched colony systems. This means that numerous egg producers will have to refurbish their houses in the next eight years.

Barn egg production, not free-range egg production 

The Big Dutchman distributor Newquip Ltd. of Yorkshire has already noticed that the industry is gaining momentum, as illustrated by an increased interest in their systems for barn egg production, reports the renowned magazine The Ranger on its website.

In a country where nearly 50 percent of all marketed eggs are free range eggs, this interest is not surprising. Only a small number of farmers affected by the phase-out has sufficient space for the required outside range. Barn egg production with the Natura Step aviary system is therefore a genuine alternative, affirms Newquip expert Richard Buchan. The aviary can easily be installed in refurbished old houses.

Aviary systems from Big Dutchman

Natura Step is part of the large Natura product family. Big Dutchman introduced the first aviary system for egg production as a reaction to the ban on cage eggs in Switzerland 30 years ago. Today, the product range has grown to include more than 20 different versions.

Product leaflets for aviary systems

The list of references is therefore quite impressive: more than 74 million bird places have been equipped with Natura aviary systems, first in Europe and later also in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.

Big Dutchman experts have implemented many customer requests and experiences to improve and further develop the Natura aviaries in the past decades. The result: today, the Natura aviaries are a flexible and modular system. Egg producers will find a solution for virtually any situation. Whether a farmer has an old building or is planning a new one, whether the house is large or small: Natura aviary systems offer a wide range of intelligent solutions.

There is one idea at the heart of all Natura systems, whether they are intended for free range or barn egg production: an aviary system must guarantee the birds’ well-being, but also be economic. Characteristics that all Natura aviaries share therefore include a high laying capacity, a low number of mislaid eggs, minimum inspection and management efforts and happy birds.