Avícola Larrabe opts for Bolegg Gallery system once again
min readpublished on 10 October 2023
In Vizcaya (Spain) we find the Larrabe family farm with more than 60 years of experience in the poultry sector.
Avícola Larrabe has managed to consolidate its position as one of the largest in the Basque Country with a daily production of over 200,000 eggs.
Kepa Larrabe tells us about his experience in 3 minutes
With a total of 7 houses, the capacities differ between 40,000 and 50,000 hens per house and a total amount of around 260,000 hens.
Of these 7 houses, 2 of them are still equipped with cages and 4 with cage-free aviary systems. The seventh house is currently being assembled and will also be equipped with cage-free systems, which will be finished in October 2023.
The last house stands out for its dimensions of 80 metres long and 15 metres wide. A similar size to the other houses, although they all have different measurements. In this case, the house has two floors. By choosing to install 3-tier Bolegg Gallery systems, a much larger total floor area is achieved, which allows housing a total of 46,000 hens.
In 2016 they took advantage of the growing trend towards cage-free systems to reconvert their housing systems and start removing cages from their houses gradually. Starting with just one of the houses, in order to test the aviary system.
They were pleased with the performance of the Bolegg Gallery system and the results were better than expected. That's why they decided to continue with the conversion of their houses over the following years till today, when most of their houses are now cage-free.
At first, you have to learn the hens how the system works and keep a close eye to them. When they are used to the system, the results are very good.
They opted for the 3-tier Bolegg Gallery because of the features and advantages it offered, including the possibility of enclosing the hens inside the system, which gave them a certain peace of mind.
Moreover, the steel mesh floors of the Bolegg Gallery have a slight inclination which means that if there are eggs outside the nest, they can roll down to the nest and be picked up by the belts. At this moment, the number of flooreggs is less than 0.1%.
Manure removal is carried out by conveyor belts, on all three levels. These transfer the manure to the Hercules Cross Conveyor, which removes the litter easily and safely out of the house without the need for a pit.
In fact, they liked this method so much that they have closed the pits in other houses and installed Hercules systems in all of them.
At Larrabe they have already taken the step towards cage-free poultry farming with a more sustainable vision. Their advice to any farmer, who considers to switch from cage-free to aviary systems:
"An aviary is not the same as cages. You should always choose an aviary that already has some previous experience. In other words, it has to be a well tested system".