"Variety is the be-all and end-all," says Uli Bauer from the Bauer poultry farm in the Hunsrück. That's why his chickens get grains of wheat to peck several times a day. "If you're restless, there's also oats, that calms the chickens down," says the experienced farmer. Wheat, barley, peas and oats are from our own production, grain corn is bought once a year from a nearby farm and dried in-house. Soy is obtained from the country trade, but exclusively GMO-free (without genetic engineering); that is important to Uli Bauer. He also refrains from using antibiotics.
The family business has tradition. But while his parents still kept them in cages, the company has now switched to mobile floor housing. The barn is almost 200 square meters and is on the meadow in summer and on rubber mats with straw bedding in winter. The side walls have grids so that fresh air can come in and the sun can shine in too. Approximately every three months the barn is pushed further and then stands on new ground. Two tractors are needed to move it. By the way, the chickens stay in the barn, they move together with their mobile home. 1,200 animals live here, actually there should be 1,400 chickens, but a larger space leads to a less stressful life for the chickens, and they thank you with almost 1,000 eggs a day.
The eggs are marketed in their own farm shop, and Uli Bauer's parents drive to the surrounding villages in a sales car. "Since we switched to mobile stables, our eggs taste better." Uli Bauer is proud of that. This system requires an hour more work per day compared to conventional floor housing, but it is worth it for the family. A chicken lives two years before it is slaughtered. There are no long transport routes for this, because the family does it themselves.