Alternative (non-cage) systems

These systems, which include those that fall into the category of the EU-Directive “Alternative systems”, are operated from inside and the keepers enter them. All current alternative systems provide the birds with nest boxes and litter as well as perforated platforms. Elevated perches may or may not be included.

Indoor systems may, or may not, be combined with outdoor facilities.

Single level systems contain all alternative systems where the ground floor area is fully or partially covered with litter and/or perforated floors in any combination. Birds have no access under the perforated floors. There is only one level for the birds at any one point, even if this level is stepped. (See figure 3.8).

Aviaries (Multi-level systems ) consist of the ground floor plus one or more levels of perforated platforms, from which manure cannot fall on birds below. At some point across the system there are at least two levels available for birds.

There are many differences in layout. Three major categories can be distinguished.

In combination with the above mentioned alternative systems some additional area is provided. This can be either one or both of the following possibilities:

Several systems do not fit into the previous categories, because they are obsolete or rarely used nowadays, e.g.: