New cage-free layer housing may lower production costs

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An agriculture construction company is teaming up with Rose Acre Farms to bring a new style of cage-free house to the market which, it says, can offer far more efficiency than a traditional design.

In April 2017, Summit Livestock Facilities and Rose Acre held a press event to tour a near-complete Rose Acre layer house in Pulaski County, Indiana. The Summit Livestock design team explained some of the new innovations developed for cage-free layer housing. Leaders from Summit and Rose Acre took questions from media and industry leaders about the new Wrap-the-Equipment construction design used at the Rose Acre complex.

Guests toured a cage-free layer house expected to house 378,000 layers by the end of May 2017. The nearly completed facility is one of three Wrap-the-Equipment-style cage-free houses built at Rose Acre’s Pulaski County complex, which replaces six cage houses torn down to make way for the new build.

The first 378,000-bird house in Pulaski County went online in January 2017, and the third house at the complex will receive birds in July. According to Summit, each house of this size designed in the Wrap-the-Equipment style comes at a cost to producers of nearly $45-55 per bird, or roughly $10 million.

Wrap-the-Equipment’s design

In an interview with Egg Industry, Miles Ridgway, the construction company’s president, and Bryan Culp, Summit’s poultry specialist, explained the concept behind the system.

As the name suggests, the building style uses a reinforced aviary housing system as the building’s super structure, then wraps the structure horizontally with…

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