VanDrie veal farmer invests extra in animal welfare and sustainability

VanDrie veal farmer Marco van Hamersveld tells about his latest investments in animal welfare and sustainability!

06-01-2020

Upon entering the farm of family van Hamersveld you can’t help but experience a calm atmosphere. When entering the stable itself, calves are curiously looking towards their guests. 

VanDrie Veal Farmer Marco Van Hamersveld has been a dairy farmer for some time before recently taking an adventurous step by switching to veal. As being a new veal farmer, Marco invested in a top-layer on the floor made out of rubber. This layer adds to the comfort for the calves. After completing his first round, Marco looks back positively on the process: ‘’I have experienced that the calves themselves are at ease, and have full control if they want to stand or lay down. They stay clean, which is import for the level of hygiene.’’ Marco continues: ‘’ I was rather excited when we decided to apply this type of floor in the stables, because I was one of the first farmers to actually use it when we invested in it. We are grateful for the help and support we received from the government in the form of an investment scheme.’’

The investment scheme mentioned by Marco, is meant as a financial backing for veal farmers who want to make an extra effort in improving their stables in regard to animal welfare and sustainability. VanDrie Group, among others, has been involved to bring about this financial backing. The attention for animal welfare goes beyond the floor in the new stable of the family van Hamersveld.

The design enables for a lot of daylight to enter the stable, more than required by law. Investments have been made in the automated feeding machine and the ventilation of the stable. Due to the well ventilated stable the calves are looking healthy and alert. There is another great advantage if you ask Marco: ‘’ I have a lot more time to check and take care of the calves. The ventilation is in touch with a weather station, which gives us a better control of the climate in the stable. For instance, when a strong wind is about to come up, the curtains of the air inlet will close automatically. This prevents us from following facts, we stay in ahead of them.’’

In compliance with sustainability, a special heating is used which fuels on Miscanthus, better known as ‘’Elephant Grass.’’ The heating is used to prepare calf milk and to warm the stable. Due to Elephant Grass, which can be harvested locally, Marco heats his stable largely CO2-neutral.

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