The biggest misconception about birds.
I hope you are sitting down, because this is the biggest misconception about birds: they don’t actually sleep in their nests.
So, where do birds sleep? Almost all bird species perch high up in branches as a way of protecting themselves against predators. This also applies to hens. In nature, a hen has her nest on the ground, but when the sun goes down, she will leave her nest to sit high in a tree. When birds do this we call it “roosting”.
Aviary systems simulate a hens’ natural environment so hens can behave as they would in nature. That’s why we designed perches, like branches in a tree, so that the hens can roost. Also, in nature, sunset tells animals it's time to go to sleep; but how does this work in a poultry house? We emulate sunrise and sunset using simple, full-spectrum lighting technology. It’s important for your hens to learn lighting-response at a young age. When mistakes are made in dimming the lights, hens will stay on the floor, which will result in floor eggs.
A few weeks ago I visited a customer with an aviary rearing system. “His hens won’t go into the system at night; they remain on the floor in large numbers”. What went wrong? The time set for dimming the lights was incorrect. We changed the program and, in a few days, all the hens went into the system by themselves. Customer satisfied.
Alex Welbergen – Poultry Specialist