5 LOHMANN TIERZUCHT › MANAGEMENT GUIDE Introduction There has been a distinct movement towards alternative housing through- out the EU since 2011. This trend shows no signs of abating as the demand for so called alternative sys- tems, barn & free range, continues to gain pace not only in the European Union but across many continents. As this trend continues to grow, so to do the options we face when deciding on house design and the equipment we use within our chosen system. New technologies are being intro- duced to the market on a regular ba- sis and manufacturers are constantly looking to improve upon their cur- rent offerings. Whichever system you choose it is imperative that not only do you con- sider your contractual requirements but also the local legislation and wel- fare standards for your country. External factors such as availabil- ity of land, access to amenities and infrastructure, site positioning etc. also need to be considered. The management practices within these systems raise their own chal- lenges within the production cycle, particularly in rear so its highly rec- ommended you gain some practical insight into what is involved by tak- ing a good look around a well-man- aged and successful operation. The following recommendations are based on results of scientific stud- ies and most importantly, practical experience gained in the field. This management program is intended to be used as a guide for newcomers and at the same time, assist experi- enced poultry farmers in optimizing the performance of LOHMANN prod- ucts in alternative systems. Due to their robust nature, the LOHMANN breeds have proved themselves to be extremely well suited to alternative systems. 5