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L’Œuf d’Or sees a golden future coinciding with animal welfare and sustainability

The brand-new L'Œuf d'Or hatchery benefits from the latest concepts and technologies in animal welfare, health safety and renewable energy. For this showcase hatchery they chose to work with Petersime for the whole design, the incubators and hvac.

In the first hatchery in Wallonia, the southern French speaking part of Belgium, dignitaries cut the ribbon to open its doors. It is a brand-new state of the art hatchery with a maximum capacity of only 200 000 chicks per week. This hatchery doesn’t concentrate on volume but on animal welfare and the production of superior quality slow growing bio chicken.

A family affair  

Steven Vervaeke explains to us that this hatchery is part of a larger collaboration between two families, experienced and passionate about the trade: The Van Ryckeghem family, already a major player in the Belgian alternative poultry sector and the Vervaeke family, founder of hatchery Vervaeke and shareholder of the Belgabroed Group. These two partners intend to preserve a family-oriented management for this hatchery, close to their clients, as they did in their respective companies. Their joint project extends from Belgium to the Netherlands, through France but also Vietnam en Myanmar. For their newest showpiece L'Œuf d'Or (the Golden Egg) they put their trust again in longtime-partner Petersime. As Steven Vervaeke puts it: “From the early stages of this project, we discussed the concept of this hatchery with Petersime as our preferred equipment partner for our hatchery projects within the BHV2 Group. The Petersime team working on this project fully understood the goals L’Oeuf d’Or wanted to achieve. They were instrumental in converting our ideas into a workable floorplan and into tailor-made technical solutions in line with the mission of the new hatchery.”

Axel Vervaeke - Steven Vervaeke - Christian Vanryckeghem

Respect for the animal

Within L'Œuf d'Or respect for the animal is an essential point. The whole hatchery is designed with a focus on maximizing chick welfare. Any mechanical manipulation that could cause stress or discomfort in the chick has been excluded from the process. The birds will not encounter any conveyor-belts or chick counters. All chick handling steps (including vaccination and counting) are done manually, from hatching to delivery to maximize the chick’s comfort.

In addition, the chicks are vaccinated (in ovo) even before hatching which also improves their welfare. It is a local hatchery. The village of Andenne is at the center of all its customers. This greatly reduces the distance and the cost of transport. Again, this time factor reduces stress in the chick.

It shouldn’t surprise you that L'Œuf d'Or chose for Petersime incubators inspired by nature. Equipped with embryo-response technology™ the machine perfectly mimics the behavior of the parent bird and guarantees a constant interaction between the embryo and its incubator environment. The machine behaves as if the eggs lay in a hen’s clutch.

Respect for the environment

Hatchery manager François Cuisinier tells us about the use of 100% renewable energies; energy recuperations, heat pumps and the purchase of green energy. The whole roof is covered in solar panels. No greenhouse gas emissions are released into the atmosphere when you use solar panels to create electricity. And because the sun provides more energy than we'll ever need, electricity from solar power is a very important energy source in the move to clean energy production.

A confident look into the future

L'Œuf d'Or has invested in a new project in the heart of Wallonia. By this investment of six million euros, the two partners express their confidence in the future of Belgian production of alternative poultry meat. In fact, the demand for organic and alternative chickens has been growing in both countries for over ten years. The first installment of the hatchery's work completed in February 2018 enabled the company to start with a production of 130,000 chicks a week. The design of the building allows it to consider future expansions and to be involved, in the long term, in the rise of a sustainable sector, in full adequacy with the new expectations of consumers.

François Cuisinier - François-Xavier D'Hem