Dura-Slat Helps Hale Farms Maintain Its Priorities
Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? For Tammy Hale, owner and operator of Hale Farms in Lincoln, AR, both are first priority. That’s why she has been pleased with the DURA-Slat flooring system. It has helped her save her chicken and her eggs.
Hale Farms has been in operation since 1996. It can house more than 32,000 breeding hens, most of which go to Simmons Poultry in Northwestern Arkansas. Simmons suggested Hale try DURA-SLAT in one of the four houses on the farm.
Although she has put only one generation of hens through the DURA-SLAT house, Hale said she has been very impressed with the results. “We didn’t lose any hens in the DURA-SLAT house.” Hale said te hens in the DURA-SLAT house didn’t have nearly as many leg and foot injuries as hens in the regular wood houses. “With a regular wooden slat, you often find hens with their feet stuch between the wall and a board. Usually the hens are severely injured by this experience, or they find the dead. We didn’t have that with the DURA-SLAT house.”
Hale also noted one surprising benefit that’s not noted in the literature – they didn’t lose any eggs in the DURA-SLAT house. Normally, in hen houses with wooden slats, Hale said the eggs have a tendency to roll around if they aren’t laid in the roosting area, so they are stepped on and broken or they fall in between the boards. With the DURA-SLAT floor, the eggs settled into the openings in the flooring and stayed put. For some reason, that meant they didn’t break, “We picked up about 20 broken eggs per day in the hen house with the wood slats and nothing but whole eggs in the DURA-SLAT house”
Hale said she expects the DURA-SLAT floor to be more durable than wood slats, which means she won’t have to spend money replacing boards. “Per board, the expense isn’t that much. but based on the time and inconvenience of replacing boards, as well as the potential for the hens to be injured or get loose if boards are broken or missing, it’s worth it to know the DURA-SLAT system will last.”
The DURA-SLAT flooring is made from a high impact, wear resistant polyprolylene that is designed as a superior replacement for wood and wire slat structures used in most breeder houses. The 24”x48” plastic slat sections have a SMOOTH, NON-POROUS SURGACE. Animal husbandry experts believe the DURA-SLAT floor may reduce footpad problems, leg problems, and breat blisters in hens, injuries that occur with wood slats that splinter or warp over time.
For more information on the DURA-SLAT flooring, contact DuraPlas in Dallas at (800) 527-0657 or go to duraplasinc.com.