Applications are invited for a Study Tour to the Netherlands – Innovations in hatching and commercial egg production

Date published: 28 September 2023

The three-day study tour will focus on the latest technologies being adopted for hatching and commercial egg production in the Netherlands.

The three-day study tour will focus on the latest technologies being adopted for hatching and commercial egg production in the Netherlands.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is offering broiler breeder and commercial egg farmers the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands to learn about new technologies for their sectors.

The programme will include a tour of Vencomatic Group’s campus with technical talks, a visit to a broiler breeder farm to view an automated egg handling system, a visit to a laying facility to view a new multi-tier system, with heat exchanger ventilation and intelligent lighting and finally a visit to Rondeel, a Dutch Better Life system.

While the tour will include visits to farms there will be no access to birds to mitigate Avian Influenza.

This study tour is part of the Farm Innovation Visits Scheme which is being delivered by DAERA’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).

The areas of innovation studied will include:

  • air to air heat exchangers - operation and benefits, including ammonia reduction
  • automated hatching egg handling technology
  • high welfare commercial egg production system
  • in-ovo sexing and on farm hatching of commercial layers

The group will leave on the morning of Wednesday 22 November 2023 and return on the evening of Friday 24 November 2023. The tour will be led by CAFRE’s Poultry Advisers.

Applications are invited from one member or employee from each poultry business with at least 5,000 commercial laying hens or broiler breeders. Applicants must be over 18 years old on the application closing date and not in full-time education.

To increase the benefits arising from the study tour, all applicants must identify a group of farmers to share their findings with upon their return. Up to twenty places are available (aiming to have 10 commercial egg farmers and 10 broiler breeder farmers). In the situation of over subscription, preference will be given to those with larger poultry enterprises based on potential impact.

The Farm Innovation Visit Scheme, which is part of the NI Rural Development Programme and part funded by the EU, will cover the costs associated with setting up the visit, accommodation, travel outside of Northern Ireland and meals when in the Netherlands. Participants will be expected to meet any additional costs, including farm relief and travel insurance.

Broiler Breeder and Commercial Egg producers who are interested in participating in this study tour can find out more details and complete an online application at the CAFRE website.

Applications open on Friday 29 September 2023 and close at 4:00pm on Monday 9 October 2023.

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