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Animal Welfare in Poultry

What is animal welfare in poultry?

Proper animal welfare involves providing the proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling and, when necessary, humane euthanasia. These factors allow for the most optimal and humane growing environment.

The concept of animal welfare includes three elements:

  1. The bird’s normal biological functioning
  2. The bird’s emotional state
  3. The bird’s ability to express its natural behaviors

Why is animal welfare important?

Improving animal welfare can be accomplished through offerings like poultry feed enrichment, which can reduce stress, thereby increasing performance, productivity and profitability.

How is animal welfare measured and/or monitored?

Animal welfare is observed by watching how birds naturally behave and even by looking at mortality stemming from aggressive behaviors. The data component of animal welfare is still being studied and has yet to be expanded upon, but some third-party organizations can help audit farms to monitor animal behaviors and assess overall animal welfare.