Annual congress

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Exchange & training


Towards animal oriented methods of rearing animals in organic production systems

International Training and Exchange workshop

20-22 February 2006, Driebergen, the Netherlands

One of the foundations of organic animal production systems is that animals are kept in a more natural way. In terms of housing, animals get more space, have access to outside areas and are fed organic rations. This results in unique, farm-specific production systems with emphasis on animal welfare and product quality. In recent years it has become clear that strategies to rear replacement animals are getting more important. There is a public demand for more animal oriented, sustainable production systems. Also farmers realize that rearing is the key to raise suitable animals that fit into their production system. Circumstances during the rearing period affect health, wellbeing and production, not only during the rearing period itself, but also during later life. In organic egg production and in organic milk production farmers realize that organic production requires organically sound rearing practices!

As part of the EU-programme QualityLowInputFood a meeting will be organised for researchers with as topic the case of rearing laying pullets and dairy calves.

The aims of the meeting are:

  1. Draw up scientific framework regarding importance of good rearing practices
  2. Exchange of ongoing research
  3. Translation of research findings to farmers’ practice
  4. Indicate future research needs and priorities


Monday 20 February

13.00 Arrival and registration
13.30 Introduction
14.00 Prof. Dr. Paul Koene, Animal Behaviourist, Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands

The importance of good rearing practices in animal husbandry; with emphasis on poultry and cattle.


Ir. Monique Bestman, researcher Organic Poultry, Louis Bolk Institute, the Netherlands

Best rearing practices for organic laying hens: state of the art.


Ir. Ron Methorst, AgroEco Consultancy, the Netherlands

How to support farmers in changing to animal oriented rearing: case of laying hens in the Netherlands

16.15 Tea break
16.45 Ir. Jos Langhout, researcher Dairy Cattle, Louis Bolk Institute, the Netherlands

Suckling systems in modern dairy farming


Prof. Dr. Ton Baars, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany

Suckling systems: validation of an alternative rearing system

18.00 End of first day
Monday evening we will have dinner together.

Tuesday 21 February


Field visits including lunch

Dairy cattle: Nils Spaans en Jan Vrolijk

Poultry rearing farm(s)


Looking back at field visits: observations of participants


Berry Reuvekamp, researcher Organic Poultry, Animal Sciences Group, WUR, the Netherlands

How can we address man-animal relation in research?

15.45 Tea Break
16.00 Presentation of participants’ research
17.30 End of second day

Wednesday 22 February

09.00 Prof. Dr. Ute Knierim, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany

Veterinary consequences of animal oriented pullet rearing


Dr. Kathryn Ellis, Glasgow Veterinary School, UK

Animal health in organic dairy production in practice

11.00 Coffee break
11.30 Final session: put together important conclusions and findings; indicate future research needs and priorities
12.30 Lunch and departure

Further information

Information can be obtained from Jan-Paul Wagenaar, Louis Bolk Instituut, info@louisbolk.nl




Cost & payment