‘Fladderfarm Mobiel’ is a highly innovative concept from the Netherlands that combines high welfare free-range egg production with social farming in a business model that was recently described by the Dutch Financieele Dagblad newspaper as ‘Laying eggs for a better world’.
The chickens are kept in small-scale mobile “chicken caravans” where “auxiliary farmers” (individuals with limited job opportunities who are being coached for personal development) take care of the hens and collect, sort, stamp, package and sell the eggs.
Every three weeks the mobile “chicken caravan” is moved to a new free-range area and the chickens travel through the locality as if they were having a vacation! In this way local consumers come to understand that the chickens have basic values and their welfare should therefore be respected.
‘We have happy chickens and better eggs.’
The mobile stables are professional, have a climate computer, feed and water system, solar panels and batteries, biological predatory mite to combat insect pests etc. The eggs are sold directly to consumers from a mobile egg dispenser that travels with the chickens. The egg boxes in the egg dispenser are made of roadside grass.
After a pilot project with a few prototype chicken caravans, technical problems were addressed, a revenue model was developed and the value-added was increased in several areas. Because of the cost price strategy applied out of necessity by most Dutch poultry farmers, most eggs produced in the Netherlands meet only minimum animal welfare requirements. The ‘Fladderfarm Mobiel’ responds to a need in the market where consumers are clearly willing – and inspired! – to pay the real price for eggs from chickens that live in good conditions and roam quite freely in nature.
‘Fladderfarm mobiel’ aims to scale-up the business model to the point that can generate a family income.