NATURA® Step & Step XL

Multi-tier open access aviaries

Multi-tiered systems which are fully open, the NATURA Step and Step XL provide full freedom to the bird to move in and out of the equipment at all times. The name NATURA Step comes from the unique steps which are designed to allow easy movement from one tier to another. All of our NATURA aviary layer systems share the same innovative COLONY2+ nest with the patented tiltable nest floor, resulting in a cleaner nest, higher percentage of nest acceptance, and fewer cracks and checked eggs.

NEW! The NATURA Step XL is our newest aviary system introduced into the NATURA product family. It is a wider overall system than the NATURA Step, offering higher bird density, shorter system height and higher egg capacity.

All NATURA Step System Advantages

  • Completely open design for easy movement throughout the entire system
  • Innovative step for easy movement between system levels
  • Each system row is independent and can stand alone
  • Patented tiltable nest design
  • Zn Alu wire coating allows for a clean system
  • Extra-wide egg belt
  • Easy to manage design

Our Newest Version: NATURA Step XL

With the NATURA Step XL, producers can enjoy additional options for their house including:

  • Wider overall system for up to 26% more useable space
  • 2 nest depth options to accommodate humane requirements
  • Double egg belts with added belt space for higher egg capacity
  • Extra feed loop on top belt tier below cross arm for increased ventilation efficiency
  • Shorter overall system height to improve management
  • Option for additional water line under the nest
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Perches and Placement

To encourage flock movement

There’s science in perch design and placement. Perches allow your flock to have a place to relax and the design provide comfort. The placement of perches encourage flock movement which relaxes the flock, and at the same time maximizes proper air circulation, resulting in a healthy and comfortable environment. The patented approach perch is designed to protect any mislaid eggs. It also positions the hens to face outside of the system while roosting, allowing the manure to fall onto the manure belt, resulting in lower ammonia levels and a cleaner system.

Easy Movement

From one tier to another

The name NATURA Step comes from the unique steps, which are designed to allow easy movement from one tier to another. These steps are made with our Zn Alu wire coating, and are positioned so manure falls on the manure belt, resulting in a cleaner system.

Feed and Water

Fresh for the entire flock

The entire flock has easy access to fresh feed and water whenever they want it. Our feed and water placement is intentional in order to promote bird movement within the system. Water is placed right outside the nests to provide the birds a drink after they lay their eggs. Feed is strategically placed inside the system to promote bird movement and open up quality space. Encouraging bird movement is vital for a healthy flock. When birds move around air flow is increased, resulting in healthier birds, a calm flock, and drier litter.

Nest Design

Maximizing egg laying and quality

The NATURA Step nest is an innovative design for an automatic group-laying nest for broiler breeders, layer breeders and layers. Special characteristics of this automatic nest are its central egg belt and the patented divided tilting nest floor. It’s the hen’s natural desire to find the most secure place to lay her eggs. The nests are located in areas to provide this sense of security they seek. After the egg is laid, it gently rolls out onto the extra wide egg collection belt, and then heads to the egg packing area automatically. The nest average acceptance is 98%, but for those rare times when an egg is laid outside of the nest, we’ve built in a built in system egg tray to make picking up the mis-laid eggs easy and fast.

Operation of the tilting nest floor

The egg belt is located in the center to allow the eggs be laid directly in front of the belt. This design ensures the shortest possible roll-off distance for the eggs, minimizing the amount of cracked and checked eggs.

Before the divided nest floor completely closes the nest, it is first raised in the center, increasing the inclination of the rear part of the nest floor and removing any eggs from the nest area.

The nest floor is raised completely, allowing any dirt to drop off the nest insert as well as closing off the nest to prevent hens from entering and brooding inside.

Litter Properly Dried

For a healthy and calm flock

Uniformity of lighting and ventilation, along with system design, result in even spacing of the hens throughout the house, resulting in properly dried litter. This is ideal for the flock as they dust bathe, scratch, and act out other natural behaviors. The hens will pay more attention to the litter and less to each other, resulting in a calm and healthy flock. Proper manure drying reduces ammonia emissions in the house, minimizing any harm to the environment, and promoting the birds’ well-being. Manure drops through the Zn Alu coated floor onto continuous polypropylene belts, and is then carried out of the building.

System Inspection and Management

Management made easy

With our NATURA cage-free systems, flock inspection, gathering mislaid eggs, nest, feed and water inspection can all be done by walking the litter aisles.

Take a Virtual Tour

Want to see the NATURA Step in an actual layer house? Click to view our 360 tour of the system, and see tours of some of Big Dutchman’s other housing systems as well.

Resources

View and download the latest NATURA Step & Step XL product brochures, and also check out our helpful cage-free management guide for tips, tricks and experienced advice about managing Big Dutchman systems effectively.

Questions? Ask our Aviary Specialists

Managing aviary systems can seem overwhelming for producers. Our Aviary Specialists are here to help. Click the link below to find their contact information and feel free to reach out to them at any time to get your questions answered.

In the end my priority was for a system that worked well for the hens, was easy to manage for the farmer, and that combined innovation and quality components from a company with a track record. That's why I chose the NATURA Step XL.

– Andrew Penner, Nest Egg Poultry

Related Products

NATURA Filia – Rearing

NATURA Filia is a two-tier rearing aviary system developed by Big Dutchman to meet the requirements of day-old chicks and pullets in an optimal way.

NATURA Primus – Rearing

The NATURA Primus three-tier rearing aviary systems offer you the best possible prerequisites for a smooth transition of pullets from the rearing to the laying aviary.

Colony 2+ – Layer

The COLONY2+ system is a single-tier open access aviary that features one row of nests in the center of the house, slats on either side, and feeders and drinkers.

Get Started on Your Project

Over the course of 80 years we have designed, tested, developed, and refined egg production equipment to meet every imaginable need. Get in touch with our sales team to discuss your farm requirements today.