Today, we are in Maashees, Brabant, visiting the family business of the Janssen family. The farm can justifiably be called a special agricultural enterprise. After all, it's not every day we come across a combination of chickens and trees?
This article was written by Vitelia Voeders
There is a good atmosphere at the farm because 'de Janssens' have celebrated a memorable fact. Recently, they have put their brand new free-range house into use. With this, they have considerably expanded the company and they are ready for the future. Immediately after the HAS in Den Bosch in 2016, Rens (27) joined the company that Paul (60) and Gerjon (58) have been running together for more than 30 years. The new barn was and is Rens' project. All preparations were his responsibility as well as running the new poultry house.
The poultry sector of the family business now has two houses: one colony house for 90,000 birds and the new free-range house for 40,000 laying hens. As mentioned, besides poultry they also have a tree nursery specialised in Taxus Baccata.
New free-range house
The free-range house is a 2-storey house of 26 metres wide. There are four rows of Bolegg Terrace on each tier. In two aisles, an extra living layer is placed between the rows. This turned out to be more interesting than placing five rows. In addition, according to the family, this choice provides more convenience during inspections.
The eggs go from the egg belt with a Pegasus to the Lubing egg belt. This Pegasus is a new way of egg transport from Vencomatic. Advantages are the flexible and safe way of egg transport. The climate on each floor is controlled by an Orion computer from Hotraco. On the lower floor, there are inlet valves in the side wall as well as ceiling valves that bring the fresh air further into the house from a duct.
Recently LSL chickens were introduced here from Ter Heerdt hatchery. "And the first start-up went extremely well," says Rens. "The daily care of the animals is in my hands and my parents, Paul and Gerjon, take care of collecting the eggs." The eggs are collected twice a week by Interovo. They take care of the rest of the egg sales to the consumer.
Door-to-door sales with an egg dispenser ensure the link with the agricultural sector.
Rens continues: "We have also had an egg dispenser for home sales for some time now. Many people from the village and cyclists from the region visit this every week. This is also good for the bond with the agricultural sector." After the completion of the new barn, the family held an open day for local residents and visitors were well informed about their business.
The new barn is fitted with solar panels and this makes the farm largely self-sufficient. Especially in the summer when many fans are running, a lot of our own electricity is used for this. All manure is also dried using a plate dryer with the company's own heat, giving the company a low CO2 footprint.
Taxustopper the webshop for taxus plants
The Janssen family's taxus nursery covers 9 hectares of full-grown taxus. The plots are partly on the house and partly in the vicinity. In addition to yews for hedging, they also produce topiary trees and bulbs.
Sales are handled in various ways. A large part of the produce is sold through the trade, mostly through regular customers. A few years ago, Rens and his girlfriend Jorieke had a webshop developed. And since a few years, they also sell taxus plants through this web shop to, among others, private individuals. The webshop can be found at
www.taxustopper.nl. More and more people are finding their way to the webshop, with Rens and Jorieke sometimes taking care of the deliveries themselves.
Rens: "We only do this if we can combine it with a walk on the beach, a visit to the Ardennes or if we know that the buyer is a celebrity. This makes the transport more interesting. And this way we also get to visit various nice places throughout the Benelux."