Animal nutrition company Alltech is planning to build the first Roundel layer farm in the US. In fact, it will be the first Roundel farm outside the Netherlands, the country that invented this innovative and welfare friendly layer system.
Pearse Lyons, CEO of Alltech confirmed this news to AllAboutFeed during the Alltech symposium in Lexington, Kentucky. The to be built layer farm is part of the ‘Eastern Kentucky Project’, aimed to invest in Eastern Kentucky, a region that economically depressed. Lyons has visited the Dutch Roundel farms (‘Rondeel’ in Dutch) last year and went to Barneveld and the mini-Roundel in Amsterdam to gain knowledge about these farms.
In the Roundel housing system chickens are raised with respect for animal welfare and the environment, based on conditions that fulfil all the natural needs of the birds. The farm is shaped round and consists of different pie-parts. “I was very impressed by this type of farm, because its different and innovative. It suits our vision of being sustainable and innovative very well. I am very interested in branding these eggs in a way that is new for America. It will not be organic, but different,” Lyons explained.
Peter Koelewijn, director of Roundel confirms that Alltech wants to build this typical Dutch invention in the Eastern part of Kentucky. “We haven’t start building yet and the details are not set, but we have found a great partner in Alltech. It is company that wants to do things differently, and the Roundel farms have caught their eye, which is great. In addition, we are confident to export the Roundel concept to other countries because we have been optimising the concept over the last four years,” explains Koelewijn.
Alltech is planning to build the 90 meter version of Roundel (the biggest one available, but still mini for US farmers). “We can’t go bigger yet, because the measurements of the farm are chosen in a way that ventilation for example works best. The materials used also have to meet our standards. The curtains for example are made from a thick, isolating fabric. These have to be made in the Netherlands and shipped to Kentucky. Also the roof has to be from a special material and cannot be made from wood (which is used a lot in US farms). We also have to include an egg-washing facility. This is not common in the Netherlands. So small adjustments will be made to make the Roundel farm US proof,” says Koelewijn.
Koelewijn cannot confirm yet if the farm will be build this year. “It normally takes around five months to build a Roundel farm, but first we have to get the green light to start building. We are also looking into building a farm in the UK and the Netherlands. We want to have more farms to guarantee production,” Koelewijn concludes.
Other parts of the ‘Eastern Kentucky Project’ are a distillery, brewery and an aquaculture facility. Additional details on the project are announced in a few weeks from now.