Organic hatchery Lindenberg expands capacities

Organic chicken is very popular among Swiss customers. In order to meet the increasing demand, the organic hatchery Lindenberg in Schongau has now expanded and modernised its operation premises. Bell supported its long-term supplier in the construction of new production premises. Since January more organic chicks can hatch here.

For the chicken meat to bear the organic seal, already the egg from which the chick hatched must meet the strict organic standards. The Lindenberg organic hatchery is one of only two farms in Switzerland where organic eggs are hatched. The company works closely with Bell within the framework of «integrated poultry production». With this system, Bell guarantees that all processes in poultry breeding are perfectly coordinated.

«The Lindenberg organic hatchery has been one of our suppliers since it was founded in April 2009», reports Christoph Schatzmann, Head of Sustainability at Bell and also a member of the Board of Directors of the hatchery. «With the extension that has now been completed, we have brought in our know-how in the field of organic poultry production and thus contributed to increase the company capacities and sustainability.»

The hatchery's new production premises are state of the art. State-of-the-art incubators, heating and ventilation systems have been installed to ensure ideal hatching conditions. Around 3.5 million eggs from the laying and fattening line can now be hatched here each year, and the capacity can be expanded at the site at any time. One million chicks are expected to be delivered to Bell poultry farms this year.

The first young animals were born in the new facility at the end of January. It usually takes around 21 days from the delivery of the eggs until the first chicks break through the shell. The individual steps during this time are precisely defined and are carefully observed by the experts of the organic hatchery Lindenberg. The eggs are first disinfected and then stored in the pre-breeder, where ideal conditions prevail in terms of temperature, humidity and CO2 content. In the so-called hatchers, the last incubation phase takes place then until hatching. Organic poultry farmers then take on the breeding of the animals. These are also farms that are closely linked to Bell within the framework of «integrated production».

«More and more customers in Switzerland highly value meat produced in accordance with sustainability and animal welfare criteria», says Christoph Schatzmann. «Sales of organic chicken are therefore developing remarkably: in recent years we have been able to record double-digit percentage growth.»