Bolegg Starter

Bolegg Starter: practical experiences

3 min read published on 9 January 2024

The Netherlands - “The Bolegg Starter is a combination of a row aviary and an open rearing system. I see that the hens in the Bolegg Starter aviary move well throughout the system and the poultry house. In a rearing aviary, chicks get multiple levels when the door open at around 4 weeks of age. In the Bolegg Starter, compared to other aviaries, the chicks have multiple levels earlier because of the platform in the system. This gives a good start at the layer farmer,” says Wilbert van den Heuvel, technical specialist rearing and laying poultry at Verbeek hatchery and rearing. 
Bolegg Starter_praktijkervaringen (1)
The specialist states that a laying hen must learn to search for feed and water. “We start with water, in drinking nipples with drip trays, at all levels. Feed is offered at two levels. Water and feed can be on the same layer but the variable level allows you to pull them apart. So you can start training the chicks early on so they learn to use multiple levels,” explains Wilbert.

For the rearing supervisor of family de Bresser, this is the first rearing farm with the Bolegg Starter. “Given the regulation that living platforms above the free-range area may no longer be counted in 2030, this is a good system to use the available space efficiently. The Bolegg Starter is uncluttered. The arrangement of the rows and the occupancy makes it easy to assess the flock.”

"Positively surprised by Bolegg Starter aviary"

Wilbert van den Heuvel

Rearing supervisor


Grafting in rearing systems

For the grafting and catching crew, every rearing system has challenges. “The most important thing is that the chicks are grafted properly. The Bolegg Starter works nicely with grafting. The system is closed before grafting or loading, which makes it easier for us to grab the chickens. The tray is then back on the bottom. It is a deep and high system so a person is needed for indicating the chicken. That person sits or stands in the system so they can calmly pick up the chicken. Two people stand in the aisle and give the chickens the requested vaccinations or eye drop,” explains John Oostvogels. He is convinced that his company will work more with the Bolegg Starter in the future because of changes legislation. 
Bolegg Starter_praktijkervaringen (2)
“The Bolegg Starter combines the advantages of an aviary and an open rearing system. In the aviary, the hens have more space, multiple levels and the shed space is used optimally. In my opinion, this is the system of the future,” concludes John.

"Great working with and in the Bolegg Starter"

John Oostvogels

Grafting and catching service Oostvogels

Laying poultry farmer experience 

“When setting up the flock, the hens went up well and distributed themselves well throughout the house and in the system,” says laying poultry farmer Jonas Lechler from Dülmen in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In one house, he keeps 14,990 Novogen Brown Light laying hens in an aviary system. He is satisfied with his flock of hens raised by family de Bresser, in the Bolegg Starter aviary. “The first evening there were up to 100 hens on the ground. We put those in the system and after three days the hens were all in the aviary before bedtime. We were unfortunately unable to visit de Bresser family’s farm, because of bird flu. Otherwise we would have loved to see the Bolegg Starter aviary. We receives regular photos via Verbeek’s adviser. That also already gave a nice picture.”

In the laying poultry house, a new environment for them, the chicks found the water and feed lines well. “We had no dryers. You can tell that the hens were used to taking multiple levels. They could find the water and feed well.”
Bolegg Starter_praktijkervaringen (3)
The number of eggs outside the nest was low. “We had a maximum of 1.5 per cent eggs outside the nest. I think the fact that the earlier you teach something the better it is, even with hens. We found that the hens were well trained in rearing.”

"Satisfied with rearing on Bolegg Starter aviary"

Jonas Lechler

Laying poultry farmer

Published by

Vencomatic Group