Optibrut produces high-quality and healthy day-old chicks for both German and Dutch broiler farmers. The company, located in Nordhorn, on the Dutch-German border, operates in a sustainable and animal-friendly way.
This happens by using the concept of early feeding: the chicks are provided with water, feed and light as soon as they hatch, which immediately boosts their immune system. The result according to Optibrut: a stronger chick that performs better at the broiler farm. An additional advantage is that the chicks hardly need any antibiotics. Hygiene is a prerequisite for animal welfare. Bacteria must be prevented from gaining a foothold at the hatchery. It was therefore a foregone conclusion to Optibrut, which flooring should be installed in the new hatchery building.
Sustainability, animal welfare and transparency are the three principles of Optibrut. ‘We do what we say and say what we do’, says Hans Grootkoerkamp, co-owner of the hatchery. A quite literal example of Optibrut’s commitment to transparency is the new hatchery building it recently opened: a large part of the exterior consists of glass. Inside the building, there is a 175-metre corridor with a variety of ‘viewing spaces’. Grootkoerkamp: “Visitors are able to see every stage of our operations: from the arrival, incubation, candling and hatching of the eggs to the processing of chicks for transport to the broiler farm. By being open about our animal-friendly way of working, we hope to put the broiler industry in a positive light.’
What is notable is that the visitor areas are completely separated from the production areas. Visitors can follow the process from behind glass, without compromising the hygiene of the work area. Grootkoerkamp: “A hygienic work environment is extremely important for a hatchery. It needs to be at least as clean as in a hospital here. We want to exclude any risk of bacterial growth.”
It was for the very same reason that Optibrut was set on having Bolidt flooring in its new premises. To be more precise: the Bolidtop® 700 system, a perfectly even synthetic finish that is pore free and connects seamlessly to, for instance, walls and drains for the discharge of wash water. This makes it impossible for bacteria to settle in the floor surface. The extremely hygienic Bolidt flooring system, Grootkoerkamp knows, benefits animal welfare. “Chicks are very vulnerable in the first days of their lives. We do not want them to be infected with harmful bacteria. By creating a clean working environment, we prevent the chicks from becoming ill. You can safely say that hygienic flooring is the basis for producing the best quality chicks.”
Another advantage of the Bolidtop® 700 is that the synthetic flooring is dirt repellent. Additionally, the system is resistant to chemical cleaning products. Grootkoerkamp: “This makes cleaning our production areas with a high-pressure washer very easy, which is good for hygiene, but also much appreciated by our employees.”
From his own experience at other hatcheries, Grootkoerkamp knows that the Bolidtop® 700 is also a strong flooring system. “Even after years of use, a Bolidt floor will still look like new. The daily movement of trolleys transporting eggs and chicks does not result in damage to the flooring. Quite extraordinary.”
Aesthetically, the Bolidt system is top of the class as well according to Grootkoerkamp. “During our open days, visitors complimented us on its appearance: the floor combines perfectly with the colour scheme of the building. That is a conscious choice. Our chicks are perfect and the same should be true for how our company comes across. The Bolidt flooring plays an important role in that.”