Chickens for Meat & Breeding (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB7275)



This code (which applies in England only) applies to all parts of the meat chicken production sector; including breeding birds and grandparent stock. For the purposes of this code flock-keeper means the owner of the birds or the person responsible for looking after them. The recommendations are relevant to meat chickens and breeding chickens under all types of husbandry system. Following these recommendations will help to ensure that the welfare of the birds is safeguarded.


No person should operate or set up a meat chicken or breeding chicken unit unless the welfare of all the birds can be safeguarded. This can be achieved by ensuring that the buildings and equipment, and the skills and ability of the flock-keeper, are appropriate to the husbandry system and the number of birds to be kept.


The relevant animal welfare legislation applies to owners as well as any person looking after the chickens on their behalf, wherever the chickens are located. A written contract can be of value in ensuring that all parties are clear about their responsibilities in respect of welfare. However, the obligations imposed by the law will still apply.


The strain of bird selected must be suitable for the production system. In particular, care must be taken in the production of birds with extended growing periods (, free range) to use suitable strains and feeding regimes.

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