Less dust in chicken shed thanks to ionization
Particulate matter is a known problem in broiler farming and to a lesser extent in other livestock houses. A technique for purifying dust from the house air is ionization. Farmers who invest in it can now be eligible for tax breaks. They are proud of VekostarAgri in Deventer. The supplier of ionization lamps and LED lamps that emit "full spectrum" light (daylight) has recently won several innovation prizes. The most recent success is the recognition of ionization with the help of carbon brushes for the so-called Sustainable Animal Husbandry (MDV). Since January 1, the ionization lamps of the company from Deventer have been included. Farmers who install them in their stables score 30 points on the yardstick. A considerable leap, according to a spokesperson for Stichting Milieukeur, who manages the benchmark. "A total of one hundred points is required to meet our particulate matter standard. With these ionization lamps you are already a long way off. "
Points for more sustainable cows
MDV is a certification system for more sustainable stables. Such a shed has (building) technical provisions that reduce the environmental impact and promote the health and welfare of the animals. This includes the emission of ammonia, fire safety, energy consumption and the emission of particulate matter. Each recognized facility is awarded a number of points. If a new barn scores sufficiently high on the yardstick, the farmer is eligible for certain tax benefits (MIA, Vamil and the Green Projects Regulation).
VekostarAgri has incorporated ionization with carbon brushes into low-energy lamps. The lamps produce millions of ions, (negative) electrically charged particles, which bind the dust to it so that it settles on the ground. This leads to a cooler climate in the stable. According to Aad van der Starre, founder, developer and director of VekostarAgri, ionization purifies the air in the house not only from a lot of dust, but also from ammonia and pathogens. This leads to a lower infection pressure. The animals fall ill less quickly, so that fewer antibiotics are needed. Research that he had carried out on poultry farmers revealed that broilers in a shed with ionization lamps needed less feed, died less prematurely and had a higher final weight than animals in a shed without those lamps. Laying hens were found to lay more eggs in a similar study. The technology is also included on the MDV for other animal species, including pigs, dairy cows, veal calves and goats.
Visibly less particulate matter in the stables
Broiler farmer Wim Beltman from Lettele in Overijssel has almost a year of experience with the ionization lamps. Beltman owns two companies, where he keeps a total of 400,000 broiler chickens, including 80,000 free-range chickens. For the latter, he built two new stables last year, in which he installed VekostarAgri LED lighting and ionization lamps. "We have visibly less particulate matter in the stables. Such a stable is 112 meters long; when I am in the front, I can see the rear wall well. In the past I would have had to ventilate a lot for that, "says the poultry farmer. An additional advantage, according to Beltman, is that he needs to heat the stables less. "Heat accumulates in the ridge. Because the dust settles, the heat also pulls downwards.” Beltman thinks that he is still working too short with the technology to be able to say that ionization has a beneficial effect on health and feed intake by the chicks. "In any case, it does not have a negative effect." According to Van der Starre, director of the Apeldoorn supplier, the ionization lamps now hang in more than 200 stables, especially in chicken stables. The investment for the farmer is between 7500 and 10,000 euros, depending on the surface of the barn.